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7\. O 







45 albuit imlitb, london, »jw. if 
17 chitta&anjan avbnub, calcutta 
nkol road, boicbat 
)6a mount road, madras 

ai5 ncTORiA itrbbt, Toronto 

PMa: C. Btnil 


From the painting by SpagnoUuo in the Paiauo Rtatt, Genoa 












All Rights R4fr9$4 

First Edition, March, xgxa 

Reprinted, with Revisiona^ Janumiy. 191S 

Reprinted, Miy, 1922*. Januwy, i9«ft 

August, 1938; November, x9SS 

November, 1938* May, 1940 

March 1942 





All Rights R0S9f9§4 

Fint Edition, March, iQxa 

Reprinted, with Revisioas, Janumiy, X9I5 

Reprinted, May, 192a; January, x9<6 

August, 1928; November, 1935 

November, 1938, May, 1940 

March 194a 




viii author's preface 

as Vicar-General of the Order, made possible for me my 
Pilgrimage in 1903 through Franciscan Italy — next the 
historian of the Franciscan Order, Rev. Leonard Lemmens, 
and the Guardians and Fathers in the different convents 
which I visited on the above-named journey, especially Rev. 
Padfico in Grecdo, Rev. Giovanni da Grecdo in Fonte 
Colombo, Rev. Teodoro da Carpineto in the convent of La 
Foresta, Rev. Vincenzo Stefano Jacopi in Cortona, Rev. 
Satuminoda Caprese, and Rev. Samuel Charon de Guersac 
at La Vema. I give hearty thanks again to Rev. Don Seve- 
rino, pastor in Poggio Bustone, and to the learned engineer, 
Albert Provaroni, of the same place, to the Capuchins in 
Celle and to the Redemptorists in Cortona, under whose 
hospitable roof I foimd a refuge in the days I passed in the 
dty of St. Margaret. With spedal recognition I give my 
thanks to the Brothers Matteud, who gave me a home in 
Poggio Bustone and helped me in my work. I only wish 
that I could, extend this list enough to indude even a part 
of all who showed me friendship and hospitality in my 
wanderings. For those who know Italian people this seems 
very natural. 

But the present book might never have been completed 
if I had not found a place of refuge in the Frandscan convent 
at Frauenberg, where next door to my room I had a rich 
librarjifrof Frandscan literature from the earliest to the most 
recent time. The second half (third and fourth books with 
the Condusion of the Appendix) were written there. Should 
my work seem to have any worth, a due portion of the honor 
for its existence is due to Rev. Maximilian Brandys, Pro- 
vindal of the Franciscan province of Thuringia, to which 
Frauenberg belongs, to Rev. Padficus Wehner (now in Gor- 
heim by Sigmaringen), as well as to the Guardian of Frauen- 
berg, Rev. Satumin Goer, who with such great hospitality 
and affection regarded me for six weeks as a member of his 
great convent family. I also thank the willing and friendly 
Fathers who tried to help in every way, and especially must 
I thank my tireless and devoted friend, Rev. Michael Bihl, 
by whose ever ready assistance so many stones were removed 
from my road. I shall never forget the summer evenings in 

author's preface ix 

the convent gardens of Frauenberg, when we walked up and 
down the long walk, as the sun, large and red, sank behind 
the trees, and I told him of my day's work and sought Pater 
Michael's practical opinion, sometimes on one, sometimes on 
another, difficult point. 

And thus I take leave of this work which has so long been 
the centre of my labor and research. To write about St. 
Francis of Assisi should have been his own affair, for what 
does he himself say in the Speculum perfecHanis? ''The 
Emperor Charlemagne, Roland, Holger, and all the other 
Knights of the Round Table fought the heathen unto death 
and won the victory over them, and at the end became them- 
selves holy martyrs and died in the battle for the faith of 
Christ. But now there are many who, by simply telling 
of their actions, hope to win honor and fame from mankind. 
Also there are now many who, by simply preaching on what 
the saints have done, wish to win honor and fame." 

Deep and wise, therefore, was the saying of Francis: " Man ■ , 
has as much of knowledge as he executes," tantum homo hobet v 
de scierUia^ quantum operatur. The ultimate measure of wis- 
dom is to serve and to properly conduct one's life; worth is 
only attained by putting into practice. Therefore there is 
a practical and moral design behind all the literary diligence 
of the old authors of legends. Thus also a modem biogra- 
pher of St. Francis, who would really be inspired by the 
spirit of St. Francis of Assisi, like the old convent-brother 
writers, must utter the words: Fac secundum exemplar. 
''Learn from Francis^ that ideals ought to be put into 


Fbausnbbko, Feast ol St. Qaxa of Aflsisi, xgo6. 





L Frauds' Sickness. X304. ReKX)nvalcsoence. The Vanity of 

AIlThings 3 

n. Francis' Ancestry. Birth, 1182. Name. Early youth. La Gaya 

Sdetua. Generosity to his friends and to the poor ... 8 

m. Local ffistory. War between Assisi and Pemgia. Francis is 
taken prisoner at Ponte San Giovanni and is a prisoner X302- 
1203 x8 

IV. State of the Times. War between Emperor and P<^. Frands 
wants to enUst under Walter of Brienne, 1205. The ^^sion 
in Foligno. Frands rettims home. New festivities. Fran- 
ds thinks of taking a Bride ax 

V. Frands' frequent prayers in a cave outside the City. Goes to 
Rome and begs at the door of St. Peter's. Begins to take care 
of the Lepers 37 

VL Frands prays in San Damiano. "Go hence and build np My 
House, for it is falling downl" Frands retires to a cave near 
San Damiano, 1207 36 

Vn. Frands imprisoned by his Father is released by his Mother. He 
gives his dothes back to his Father and goes out into the wcnrld, 
April, 1207, as the Herald of God.' He goes to Gubbio, takes 
care of the Lepers, setums to Assisi, begs from door to door. 
He rebuilds the churches of S. Damiano, S. Pietro, and Porti- 
uncula. On February 24, 1209, he hears the priest in Portiun- 
cola read Matth. z. 7-13, and deddes to live by those Words. 43 


FiAMCis THE Evangelist 

I. Frands preadies in Assisi. The first Disdples. Bernard of Quin* 
tavalle, Pietro dd Cattani, Giles. The first Mission Journeys. 
Bernard and Gfles in Florence, Francis in Rieti. He hears in 
Poggio Bustone that his sins are forgiven 61 

• • 


n. The Shed at Rivo Torto. Franda writes a forma viks and goes, 
X2XO, to Rome with deven Brothers to have it ratified by Inno- 
cent in. He only obtains a verbal approval 76 

m. Temptations to become a Hermit. The twelfth Disciple: the 
Priest, Silvester. New Missionary Activity. Preaching in the 
Cathedral of Assisi. Peace between the upper and lower classes 
in Assisi concluded, 12x0. The Friars' life in Congregation. 
They leave Rivo Torto 96 

IV. The Portiuncula Chapel. New disdples: Rufino, Maaseo, Leo, 
Juniper. Brother Giles' Way of Life. Brother Masaeo. 
Brother Rufino. Brother Juniper. Brother John the Simple. 
Brother Leo. Francis and Leo say the Breviary together. The 
Perfect Joy X05 

V. St Oara. Her family. Training. Hears Francis preach in 
Lent, X2X3, in S. Giorgio's Church in Assisi. Leaves her home 
March x8, X2X3, and takes convent vows in Portiuncula. 
Frands secures a shelter for her and the sisters, who have 
joined her in S. Damiano. She writes a forma vivatdi for 
them. Clara's life. Her feast with Francis. She holds the 
Saracens back from S. Damiano. Her grief over Frands' 
death. Her contest for the right to be poor. She writes a 
Rule for her Suters and dies, two days after getting it ap- 
pcoved by Innocent IV, August 11, 1353 taa 


God's Singek 

L The Italian Missbn oi x2xx-x3X3. Cortona, Arezxo, FlorenoeL 
John Parenti. Francis tries to evade the homage of the 
people. Lent of X2xx on Lake Thrasimene, winter of same year 
in Heimitage of Sarteano. What is God's will? Frands asks 
the advice of Clara and Silvester, gets the answer that his call 
b to preach. He preaches to the birds 145 

n. Frands wants to preach to the Heathen. He goes to Rome, meets 
Jacopa de SettesoU. On the way to the Holy Land is 
wrecked on the coast of Slavonia and goes thence as a stowaway 
to Ancona. In S. Severino converts the " Verse King," Gugli- 
dmo Divino. Frands' relations to the learned, to thieves, and 
robbers. He preaches. May 8, X3X3, in Monte Fdtro, con- 
verts Count Orlando dd Cattani and recdves Mount Alvema 
as a gift. In the winter of X3X5-X214 he visits Spain and is 
present at the Fourth Lateran CoundL Jacques de ^try'a 
picture of the Order in X3x6 151 



m. The PortiiincuU Indulgence • 266 

IV. Constitution of the Franciscan Order. The Chapter-Assemblies. 
Frands' Admonitions at them. ' The movement grows. Fran- 

hdp to direct it 175 

V. Cardinal Hugolin. Pentecost Chapter of 12x7. Missions are 
sent beyond the frontiers of Italy. Francis decides to go to 
France. On his way there visits Hugolin in Florence and is 
deterred from going. Hugolin organizes the Clares. The de- 
velopment of the Order of Clares up to 1253 i8x 

VI. Missions in France, Germany, and Hungary not successful. Frau- 
ds goes in the winter of 12x7-1 218 with Hugolin to Rome and 
has an audience with Honorius HI. He meets St. Dominic 
At the Pentecost Chapter of X2x8 Hugolin is present for the 
first time as Protector of the Order. New missionaries sent out 
May 26, X2X9. Honorius issues his Letters of Protection for 
the inissi<HiarieS| June xx, X2X9. Missions in Tunis and in 
Morocco. The first five martyrs 19a 

Vn. Frands and Pietro dd Cattani start for the Hdiy Land, June 24, 
X219, preach among the Crusaders in Egypt, and before the 
Sultan Malek d Kamd. Francis' two vicars, Gregory of Naples 
and Matthew of Nami, hold a Chapter, at which they try to 
change the Rule of the Order. Brother Stephen brings this 
news to Frands, and Frands returns. He goes at once to 
Rome and calls a Chapter for Pentecost, X22x. Honorius, in 
accordance with Frauds, ordains a novitiate of the Order, 
Sq>tember 22, X220. Frands resigns his leadership and names 
Pietro dd Cattani as his vicar and after him Ellas ol Cortona. 
"The Chapter of Mats." The new German Mission. An- 
thony of Padua 20a 

Vni. Frands and Caesar of Speier work on a new Rule of the Order. 
Devdopment of the Rule. Frauds' AdmonUumes. Rule for 
hermitages. Rule for Portiuncula. The original Rule and the 
"Ruleofx22i" 213 

DC. Disputes about the fiiud Rule from May 30, 1221, to Novem- 
ber 29, X223. Oppodtion to Francis. Peter Stada. Frauds' 
contest for evangelical simplidty and evangelical poverty. 
Frands and Anthony of Padua. Frands in Bologna August, 
15, 1222 226 

X. The new movement and the older Franciscans. Brother Giles. 
The English Franciscans. The "Third Order." Contest be- 
tween the Brothers of Penance and the authorities .... 236 


XI. Co-openitioa of Fnnds and Hugolin, and of Fkands and EHas 
of Cortona. Francis' letter to Elias. The Rule is perfected. 
Franda at Fonte Colombo. The final Rule 347 

Xn,, Hbnorius approves the Rule, 1333. Francis and "Brother 
Jacoba." The Lambs amd Francis. Francis with rAnHmyl 
Leo. He leaves Rome, celebrates Christmas, 1333, in Greccio. 
The first Christmas Crib • • . . 357 


Fbancis the Hkkkit 

I. Francis' Sickness. "His literary activity. Qs five Circulars. 

Letter to Brother Leo 065 

n. Francis Preaches by his example. His truthfulness. Zeal for 
Poverty. Hb Alms. Easter in Greccio. Francis and the 
Demons 373 

ni. Francis and his intimates. Brother Rufino's temptation, ''llie 
ideal Friar Minor." The Spanish Franciscans. Fninds reads 
in the hearts of men. Francis and obedience. Francis and 
prayer. The Evangelic Joy. Frands' ecstasy 380 

IV. Francis goes in the summer of 1334 to Mount Alvema. Fnnds 

and Brother Leo. The Stigmatization, September 14, 1334 . 39Z 

V. Frands' Song of Praise in thanks for the Stigmatization. The 
Blessing for Brother Leo. He leaves Mount Alvecna, passes 
through Borgo S. Sepoloto and OtJtk di Castdlo to Portiuncula. 
Begins again to take care of the Lepers 30Z 

VI. Frauds' Blindness. Francis at San Damiano in the Summer of 

Z335. His love of nature. He composes the Sun Song . . 308 

Vn. Fjrands goes to RietL The vin^»rd in S. Fabiano. An angd 
plays for him at night in Rieti. He is treated by physidans for 
his eyes, goes to Siena, writes his first , Testament to the 
Brothers. Brother Elias takes him to Cdle, thence to AssisL 
He lies sick in the Bishop's residence, makes peace between 
the Bishop and the PodestiL He sends his farewell to St. 
Oara, dictates his Testament. He lets himself be taken down 
to Portiuncula, blessing Assisi on the way. In Portiuncula he 
recdves a visit from Jaoopa de Settesoh', breaks bread with 
the Brothers. He dies October 3, 1336 316 

Vm. The Funeral Procession. Jaoopa de Setteaoli 334 



Aothobitibs yok the Biogsafht or St. F&amcis or Assisi 

L His Writings 340 

Religious Poems 341 

Prose Writings 349 

n. Biographen 351 

I. Thomas of Celano Gxoop 35a 

9. Brother Leo Group 356 

&. Legenda inum sociorum 356 

b. Anonymus Perusmus 367 

c Thomas of Celano's Vita sectmda 368 

3. St. Bomiventuxe Group 378 

4. Speculum Group • • • . 38a 

a. Speculum perfedumis • • • . . 384 

b. Legeuda anHgua 391 

c Actus (PiorettO 393 

nL Other Sources 39S 

a. Histories of the Order • • • • . 395 

b. Authorities outside of the Order •••••.. 400 

c. Modem Works 401 



St. FkAMCO or Assbi . . • FmOispiece 

From the painting hy Spagntktto in the Pdat» 
Xsale, Genoa, 


THE Sacro Speco, Subiaco Pacing page 62 

{From a pkotograpk kindly lent by Pemn et Cie, Paris.) 

St. Claka of Assisi and Scenes from hex Life. . . " *' 122 
AUrilmled to Cimabue. Fresco in Church of Santa 
Chiarat Assisi. 

St. Fbances of Assisi ** ** 298 

Prom the fresco, attributed to Cimabue, at Assisi. 

Tbe Blessing of Bkoibek Leo ** ** 346 

Autograph of St, Francis. 


Nunc latdiat in eremls, nunc eodesi- 
anim reparationibus insbtebat devotus. 

Now he hid himsdf in hermiiages, now 
ke piously devoted himsdf to the restoration 
€f churches, 




THERE awoke one moming in Assisi a young man 
who was just recovering from a severe illness. It 
was seven hundred years ago. The hour was an 
early one. The window blinds were not yet opened. 
Out of doors the day's business was in full blast; the bells 
for mass had long ago rung out from St Maria del Vescovado, 
which lay almost under the windows. The strong morning 
light streamed in through the crack where the window blinds 

The young man knew it all so well — one moming after 
another the long weeks of his convalescence had passed thus. 
Soon his mother would come in and would draw the shutters 
adde, and the light would enter in dazzling brightness. 
Then he would get his morning draught, and his bed 
would be made over; he used to lie on one side of the wide 
bed while the other was made up for him. And so he would 
lie there, tired, but at peace, and look out on the blue 
cloudless autumn sky, listening to the splashing on the stones 
of the street as the people of the neighborhood threw their 
waste water out of the windows. As the forenoon advanced 
the rays of the sun began to come in — first along the high 
wall of the window alcove — then right across the brick floor 
of the room, and when they approached the bed, it was time 
to take the midday meal. After midday the blinds were again 
closed, and he took his siesta in the quiet comfortable obscurity 
of the room. Then he awoke and the blinds were again thrown 
open to admit the light; the sun had left the window — but 
if he raised himself up in the bed, he could see the mountains 



under a blue veil on the other side of the plain, and soon the 
crimson evening red of the late autumn day burned in 
the western sky. As the darkness quickly fell, he heard the 
noise of sheep, which were driven bleating into the stable, and 
of peasants and peasant girls, who sang on their way home 
from the fields. They were the wonderful heart-gripping 
folk-songs of Umbria which the invalid heard — the songs 
which even to-day are in the people's mouths and whose slow, 
wonderfully melancholy tones fill the soul with sadness till 
it is ready to burst with helpless longing and melancholy. 

At last the songs ceased and it was night. Over the dis- 
tant moimtains gleamed a single bright star. When that 
showed itself, it was time to close the shutters and to light 
the night-lamp — the lamp which in the long nights of fever 
had constantly burned through the long hours of his uneasy 

To-day there was to be a change — to-day at last he was 
to have permission to leave his bed. How glad he was to go 
into the other rooms, to see and touch all the things he had 
so long missed, and had been so near losing for ever. He 
must even venture down into the business offices — see the 
people come and do business, see the clerks measure the good 
Tuscan cloth with their yardsticks, and draw in the bright 
ringing coins. 

Just as the young man was busy with these dreams the 
door opened. As on every morning of his illness, it was his 
mother who Altered. As she threw the shutters aside he 
saw that she carried, as she brought his morning meal, a 
suit of man's clothes over her arm. 

''I have had a new suit of clothes made for you, my 
Francis," said she as she laid them down at th^ foot of the 

And as he finished his meal she sat down by the window 
while he dressed himself. 

''What a lovely morning it is," said she, almost as if she 
were talking to herself. ''How brightly the sun shines! I 
see all the houses over in Bettona so clearly, although there 
is the whole extent of the broad plain between us, and out in 
the middle of the green vineyards, Isola Romancaca lies like 


an island in a lake. And smoke is rising straight up from all 
the chimnesrs — as if from a censer in a church. Ah, it seems 
to me, my Francis, that on such a morning as this, heaven and 
earth are as beautiful as a church on a feast-day, and that all 
creatures praise, love and thank God." 

To these words Francis gave no answer but silence. 

But a moment later he broke out, as he ceased his dressing: 

"How weak I am!" 

His mother changed the current of her remarks and their 

"It is always so, when one has been sick," she said brightly. 
"As long as you lie in bed you think that you can do anything, 
but as soon as you get your feet from under the covers you 
find that it is different. I know this from my own experience, 
and therefore I had the foresight to bring a stick for you." 

And she went to the door and brought in a beautiful pol- 
ished stick with an ivory handle. Soon after the mother and 
son together left the sick-room. 

Some time passed before Francis could venture to go out 
of his home alone. He and his mother had visited all the 
rooms. They had been down in the shop, where the clerks 
had greeted them with a hearty and delighted " Good morn- 
ing, Madonna Pica! Good morning and welcome back, 
Signorino Francesco!" But Francis had to go further 
than through rooms and shop, further than through the 
house — he must go out and greet the fields and vineyards, 
greet the open heaven and look far over the wide fertile 

And now he stood outside the city gate on the road which 
goes 'to Foligno along the foot of Monte Subasio. Here he 
stood, supported by his stick, and looked out. Directly in 
front of him was a vineyard; the vines were festooned from 
tree to tree; heavy blue bimches hung under the broad leaves; 
soon it will be the grape harvest and the beautiful time of 
wine-pressing. Further down the slope were the olive groves 
that extended over the plain and covered it with a silver-grey 
veO. Here and there appeared the white buildings and farm- 
houses under a veil of mist which now towards midday 


began to rise out of the earth — the most distant buildings 
seemed hardly larger than little white stones. 

Francis saw it all, yet not as he should have seen it. That 
excess of delight, with which the sight of the landscape's 
bright colors and of the mountain's fine outline against the 
clear sky formerly affected him, was missing. It was as if 
the heart which formerly had beaten so young and strongly 
in his breast had suddenly grown old — it seemed to him as 
if he never again could enjoy anything. He felt too hot in 
the sim, and retreated to the shadow of a wall. His knees 
were too weak to let him go down the hill; he also was hungry 
and caught himself dreaming of a good dinner and of a glass 
of wine. And like a shudder the sensation went through 
him that his youth was gone — that the things which he had 
believed would constantly give him peace would now give 
him no joy — that all that he had thought to be a treasure 
which never could be taken from him: the sunshine, the blue 
heaven, the green fields — all that he in his convalescence's 
weary days had so bitterly longed for like an exiled king for 
his kingdom — that all this in his hands was now worthless, 
smouldering and going to ashes, like the pabns of Pahn- 
Sunday burned and reduced to the ashes which the priest 
on Ash-Wednesday puts upon the heads of the faithful, with 
the sad and truthful words, ^'Remember, man, of dust thou 
art, and imto dust thou shalt return." 

It was all dust, dust and nothing but dust — and ashes, 
death and judgment, mortality and vanity — all was 

Francis stood there a long time and looked into space — 
it was as though he saw the future blossoming before his 
eyes. Slowly he turned away, and, leaning heavily on his 
stick, went back to Assisi. 

For him the day was come of which the Lord spoke to the 
prophet: "I will spread thy path with thorns" — the day 
when a mysterious hand writes words of death and corrup- 
tion on the walls of the feast chamber. 

But, like all who are in the first steps of their conversion, 
the yoimg man immediately thought as much of the failings 
of odiers as of his own. For as he saw the change that had 


taken place in himself, his thoughts were directed to his 
friends with whom he had so often stood there and admired 
the beautiful view. ''How foolish they are that they love 
perishable things/' he thought within himself with a sort of 
feeling of superiority as he went back to the dty gate.^ 

^The material for this sketch is found tmdevebped, but deariy enough 
expressed, in the first and second chapters of Thomas of Celano's Vita prima — 
and the stick on which Francis rests himself is even included — also in Bona- 
venture (Legetida major, cap. I, n. 2) and Julian of Speier {Ada Satuiarwm, Oct 
n, p. 563). 


FRANCESCO — or as we say in our language, Frands — 
had that morning just completed his twenty-second 
year and was the eldest son of one of the richest men 
of Assisi, the great doth-merchant Pietro de Bemar- 

The family was not indigenous to Assisi — Pietro's father 
Bernardone or "great Bemhard" had come from Lucca, and 
belonged to the renowned Luccan family of weavers and 
merchants, the Moriconi. Francis' mother, Lady Pica, was of 
still more distant origin; Ser Pietro had made her acquaint- 
ance on one of his business trips in beautiful legendary Pro* 
vence, and took her home as his bride to the little Italian 
village under the motmtain declivity of Subasio.^ 

Assisi is one of the oldest dties of Italy. Even in the books 
of Ptolemy it is called Aisision; and in the year 46 B.C. the 
Latin poet Propertius was bom there. Christianity was 

^ Ottavio, Bishop of Assisi, tells in bis book, published in 1689, Lumi suUa 
PorUuHcula^ that he, during a visit to Lucca, had seen an old manuscript, whence 
he copied the followuig, word for word: "There were in Lucca two brothers 
who were merchants named Moriconi. One remained in the region, while 
the other with the surname, Bernardone, went to Umbria aiiJi ^f'ttled in Assisi, 
married there and had a son whom he named Pietro. Pietro, who was hdr to 
a considerable fortune, courted a young girl of noble famQy, named Pica, and 
was St. Francis' father." For Pica's Proven^ extraction see Rigle du Tiers 
Ordre de la PinUence . . . explained by R. P. Claude Frasaen, Paris, 1752, and 
Amtaies Pfandscaines^ Oct., 1890. Wadding {Annaies^ I, p. 17) gives a family 
tree of the Moriconi, coming within the fourth degree of consanguinity of St. 
Frands. Also accoiding to Wadding (ditto, p. z8) the priors in Assisi, Feb- 
ruaiy 3, 1534, testify that there lived two descendants of Pietro di Bernardone in 
the dty, namdy the brothers Antonio and Bernardone, both of whom sup- 
ported themsdves as beggars. See also A. SS.<, Oct. II, pp. 556-557, Cristo- 
fani: Storie d' Assist, I, pp. 78 et seq. Sabatier: Vie de St. F, (1905), p. 2, n. 2, 
le Monnier: Hist, de St. P., I (1891), pp. 1-6, Cheranc6: St. P. d^A. (zgoo)* 
pp. 2-3. 



brought to this region by St. Crispolitus or Criq>oldo — accord* 
ing to the legend a disciple of St. Peter as well as of St. Britius, 
Bishop of Spoleto, who at the command of the prince of the 
Apostles, in the year 58, is said to have consecrated St. Cris- 
poldo as bishop in Vettona, now Bettona, and to have assigned 
him the charge over the whole district from Foligno in the 
south to Nocera in the north. Under the persecutions of 
Domitian, St. Crispoldo suffered mart3rrdom; the same fate 
overtook later three of Umbria's bi^ops — St. Victorinus 
(about 240), St. Sabinus (303), and St. Rufinus who was the 
apostle of Assisi.^ 

In honor of the last named there was erected in Assi3i, in 
the middle of the twelfth century, the beautiful romanesque 
basilica of San Rufino, after the designs of John of Gubbio, 
and when it was completed it became the cathedral of the 
place, replacing the very old church by the Bishop's palace — 
Santa Maria del Vescovado. 

And in this church of San Rufino still stands the roman- 
esque baptismal font in which the first-bom of Ser Pietro and 
Madonna Pica received the water of holy baptism one day 
in Sq>tember, 1182 (it is said to have been the 26th). 

A legend which is not older than the fifteenth century says 
that while Madonna Pica's hour with Francis was come the 
child could not be bom. Then a pilgrim knocked at the 
door, and, when it was opened, said that the child would not 
be bom until the mother left the beautiful bedroom, went 
into the stable, and there lay upon straw in one of the stalls. 
This was done, and hardly was the change effected when the 
heartrending cries of the mother ceased, and she bore a son, 
whose first cradle, like that of the Savioiu*, was a manger 
fvH of straw in a stable. 

Bartholomew of Pisa, who wrote in the end of the four- 
teenth century, and who in his work Liber Canfarmitaium 
goes very far in drawing analogies between Jesus Christ and 
Saint Francis, knew nothing of this story; yet it would have 
exactly suited the scope of his book. On the other hand, 
Benozzo Gozzoli in the year 1452 painted the birth in the 

> Ughelfi: Italia sacra (1717), vol. I, cd. 680; A. SS., la. May: AnaUda 
Pfmieiicana, lU (Quancchi, X897), p. 226, n. z. 


stable upon the walls of the church of St. Francis in Monte- 
faico, and Sedulius, whose Histeria SerapUca appeared in 
Antwerp in the year 1613, says that he saw the stable in 
Assisi converted into a chapel. 

Even to-day this chapel can be found in Assisi. It is 
called S. Francesco il piccolo (St. Francis the little), and 
over the door can be read the following inscription: 

Hoc oratoriom fuit bovis et asini gUbulum 
In quo natufl est Frandscus mimdi speculum. 

''This oratory was the stable of ox and ass in which Francis 
the mirror of tihe world was bom." 

The chapel is not far from the place where now the house 
of the father of St. Francis is shown, and where since the 
seventeenth century the chiesa nuava (new church) lifts its 
barocque walls. The Bollandists have propounded the the- 
ory that the chapel may be a part of Pietro di Bemardone's 
original house, which the family later moved out of while 
Francis was still a child. Perhaps the name of the chapel, 
''Little Francis," led to the development of the legend.^ 

Of the same legendary quality as that of the birth in the 
stable is another tradition that is first given by Wadding. 
This tells us that the same pilgrim who had given the good 
advice about the flight to the stable was also in the church 
at the time of the child's baptism immediately after the 
birth, and held the child over the font. There is still shown 
in San Rufino's church a stone on which are what resemble 
footprints. It is told by the guide who shows the stone 
that the pilgrim — or the angel in guise of a pilgrim — stood 
upon this stone when St. Francis was baptized. 

The seed from which this legend has sprung is undoubtedly 
a tale, which still exists in a manuscript of the so-caUed 
Legend of the Three Brothers. 

It is told in it that while the new-bom Francis was being 
baptized, a pilgrim came and knocked at the door and asked 
to see the child. The maid who opened the door naturally 
refused this request, but the stranger declared that he would 
not go until he obtained his wish. Ser Pietro was not at 

^ Acta sanctorum, Oct 11., pp. 556-S5& 


home, and they told the lady ot the house what was going 
on. To the astonishment of all, she ordered them to^do what 
the pilgrim asked. The child was taken out, and as soon as 
the stranger saw the child he took it in his arms just as 
Simeon had taken the Divine Infant, and said: ''To-day there 
have been bom in this street two children, and one of them, 
namely this very child, shall be one of the best men in the 
world, but the other shall be one of the worst." ^ 

Bartholomew of Pisa adds that the pilgrim made the sign 
of a cross upon the right shoulder of the little one, warning the 
nurse to look well after the child, for the devil strove after its 
life. And when the stranger had said this, he disappeared 
before the eyes of all. 

In baptism the son of Ser Pietro had received the name of 
John. The father was absent on a journey to France when 
the duld was bom, and one of the first tUngs he undertook 
after his retum was to change his first-bom's name from 
John to Francis. This name was then rare, although not 
entirely new. It was in use in the immediate neighborhood 
of A»risi, as the name of the road (via Francesca) which 
then ran along the west side of the town from S. Salvatore 
degli Pareti (now Casa Gualdi) and ended at S. Damiano. 
This road is referred to by name in a bull of Pope Innocent in, 
published May 26, 1198, when Francis was only fifteen years 
old, and not yet famous enough to have a road called after 
him. Many surmises have been made as to why Pietro di 
Bemardone changed his son's name. The love of the mer- 
chant just returning from Provence for France must have 
been a principal motive; he wished his son to be a real French- 
man in nature and ways. A certain protest against the 
name-giving by the woman of the house may also have 
played its part. St. Bonaventure says explicitly that the 
name John was given him by his mother. " I wish no camel's- 
hair John the Baptist, but a Frenchman with fine nature," 
is what the father's changing of the name may be thought 
to have meant. 

* Tres Saciif cap. I, n. a, in the Vatican MS. 7339, published in Pesaro, 
1831. Barth, of Pisa's ConformikUes (Milano, 15x3), fol. lav, X3r, and asr. 
Wadding, I, (Romae, 1731), pp. 20-21. 


Others hold that the name ^'the Frenchman" was first 
bestowed upon the youth as he grew up because of his skiU 
in the f'rench language — a skill which certainly was not 
very great, as he never could speak the langiiage perfectly. 

In any case, the youth became familiar from youth with 
the French tongue. He also learned Latin; this part of his 
education was undertaken by priests of the neighboring church 
of St. George^ 

St. Francis' first biographer, Thomas of Celano, gives us an 
unpleasant picture of the education of the period. He tells 
us that children were scarcely weaned before they were 
taught by their elders to both say and do improper things, 
and that from false human respect no one dared to behave 
honorably. And from so bad a twig no good and healthy tree 
naturally could spring. A wasted childhood was followed by 
a riotous youth. Christianity was only a name witji the 
young, and all their ambition was simply in the direction of 
seeming worse than they were.* 

Thomas of Celano was a poet and a rhetorician, and it is 
not easy to know how mudi weight should be attached to 
his assertions. Perhaps he thought of the conditions in his 
own childhood's home, Celano in the Abruzzi. Of the other 
biographers, only Julian of Speier has anything of the same 
sort to say, and he copies it all from brother Thomas. 

At an early age, in accordance with a custom still obtain- 
ing in Italy, Francis began to assist his father in the shop. 
He soon showed himself adapted for business — ^'even more 
forward than his forbears," Julian of Speier, referred to above, 
says of him in this respect.' He was a skilful and active 
business man, and lacked only one business trait — but this 
was also very essential — he was not economical, rather was 
he absolutely wasteful. 

To understand the cause of this wastefulness it is necessary 
to take a look at the period in which the young merchant 
grew up. 

^ St George's church was situated where now is Santa Chiara. The distance 
thence to the new church, built on the site of St. Francis' paternal home, is 
not great. 

* Viia prima, I, cap. L * A^SS,, Oct 11, p. 56a 


It was the end of the twelfth century and beginning of the 
thirteenth — in other words, it was the flowery time of knight- 
hood and chivaby. Europe's ideal was the knight and the 
life of chivalry, as it developed in the courts of love in Pro- 
vence and with the Norman kings in Sicily. In Italy the 
minor courts of Este, Verona, and Monteferrato contended 
with the great republics of Florence and Milan to see who 
could give the most magnificent tournaments and tilting 
matches. The most celebrated troubadours of France, Ram- 
baud de Vaqueiras, Pierre Vidal, Bernard de Ventadour, Peirol 
d'Auvergne, wandered over the peninsula on endless journeys 
from court to court, and from festival to festival. Every- 
where were to be heard the Chansons de Geste of Provence, 
fables and ballades, everywhere were to be heard songs of 
King Arthiu: and the Knights of the Round Table. Even in 
the smallest dties the coiuts of love were established, de- 
voted to the ''Gay Science," la gaya scienm} 

Pietro di Bemaidone's ''French" son was, as it were, des- 
tined to be caught in this movement. He was not like his 
father — only the saving, easily contented Italian, to whom 
it was enough to accumulate money. There flowed through 
his veins also the sparkling blood of Provence — he must 
have enjo3nnent by means of his money, he wanted to change 
gold into splendor and joy. 

Thus Francis, the richest young man of the place, very 
naturally became what in our days would be called the leading 
society man of the town. He was skilled in earning money, 
but very frivolous in giving it away again, says Thomas of 
Celano. No wonder that he soon gathered a circle of friends 
about him, not only from Assisi, but also from the neighbor- 
ing villages; we even find him seeking a friend in the some- 
what distant town of Gubbio. 

How did these young men spend their time when they were 
together? Like all young men up to the present day — in 
taking their meals together, eating well, drinking better, and 
finally in high spirits going through the streets of the city 
arm in arm, singing at the top of their voices, and disturbing 

^ Le Monnier: HisUnre de St, Frantis, Paris, 1891, 1, pp. 11-16. Paul Saba- 
tkr: VU de S. Pnm£ais d^ Assise (aid ed., Paris, X905), p. zo, n. 9. 


the slumbers of the citizens. Tlie austere Friar Minor from 
Celano enumerates for us the sins of these wild young men — 
they joked, he says, were witty, said foolish things, and wore 
soft, effeminate clothes. 

I remember a day in May a few years ago, a day in May in 
Subiaco in the Sabine hills. I had visited Sagro Speco, St. 
Benedict's celebrated hermitage cave and St. Scolastica's 
convent. I had gone into an inn by the wajrside to get a 
light meal, until I could take the train back to Rome via 
Mandela. I had my meal served in a pleasure house situated 
on a projecting point of rock, so that I looked down between 
the openings of a screen into a fig orchard's broad-leaved 
tops, lighted by the sun. Over the fig trees I had a view into 
the valley, where the Anio shining Uke silver rushed down 
between blue-grey cliffs, and far away the village of Subiaco 
with proud towers and spires lifted itself up like a castle on a 
mountain top. 

In these cheerful, exalting, and sunny siuroundings was a 
company of youths who were taking their dinner in the same 
inn with me. Out in an open veranda, which gave a most 
beautiful view in among the wild mountains, they had had 
a long table set — I saw the bright white cloth, Uie mighty 
flasks, the glasses with the red wine, and the waiters who ran 
back and forth with great dishes of macaroni. And laughter 
and song arose, but never became ungovemed riot, and they 
stood up in their places and made speeches, and after the 
speaking there was a Uttle comet-playing. 

Such, thought I to myself, were the festivals, filled with 
Italian enjoyment and at the same time with Italian polite- 
ness, at which Pietio di Bemardone's son bore the sceptre 
as rex, as king of the festive party, king for a day and an 
evening. And if the old Franciscan from Celano had been 
familiar with the wild inspired drinking songs of the youth 
of the north or with the ^'Salamanderreiben" of the Ger- 
man sons of the Muse, then he would have been milder 
in passing judgment on these festivals, whose delights were 
as mild and clear as the yeUow wine that ripens on the 
Umbrian hillsides. 

But he knew them not, and therefore tells us that Francis 


was the worst of all the brawUng youths — the one who led 
and misled the others. The ^'gilded youth'' of Assisi went 
from feast to feast, and at night they could be heard going 
through the streets, singing to the accompaniment of the lute 
or violin, as if they were a wandering band of Troubadours 
or "jongleurs." Indeed so far did Francis go in his admira- 
tion for the "joyful science" of Provence, that he had a 
parti-colored minstrers suit made for himself, which he wore 
when among his friends.^ 

Even at this early time Francis' father had most probably 
taken his son as associate in his business; at any rate, the 
young man had control over considerable sums of money. 
Everjrthing that he earned went for pleasure; now and then 
the father could hardly withhold the remark: "Anyone.would 
think you were a nobleman's son, and not the son of a simple 
merchant." Yet none of his elders cared to restrain Francis 
in the life he led, and when well-meaning neighbors com- 
plained to Madonna Pica of the wild son she had, she used 
only to answer: "I have the hope that he too some day will 
be a son of God." 

It was impossible to say anything really bad about him. 
In an that related to his intercourse with the other sex he 
was a model: it was known among his friends that no one 
dared say an evil word in his hearing. If it happened, at once 
hb face assumed a serious, almost harsh, expression, and he 
did not answer. Like all the pure of heart. Frauds had great 
reverence for the m3^teries of life.* 

He was, on the whole, decorous in Jiis life, and there was ' 
only one thing that really offended his family — it was that 
he dung so to his friendsthat, as he sat at the table in his 
home, if a message came from them, he would jump up, 
leave his meal, and, going out, would not return to finish 

In one respect he was worthy of admiration — this was 
rq;ard for the poor. His extravagance extended even 
to them; he was not one of those typical society men who 

* ** In curiodtate tantum erat vanus, quod aliqiiando in eodem indumento 
pannmn valde canon panno viliatinio oonsoi ladebat." Tres Socii, cap. I, n. a. 

* Tf9S S^cU, cap. I, n. 3. 


hardly have a penny to give a beggar, but willingly spend 
their hundreds on a champagne feast. His way of thinking 
was the following: "If I am generous, yes, even extravagant 
with my friends who at the best only say 'thanks' to me for 
them, or repay me with another invitation, how much greater 
grounds have I for almsgiving which God himself has prom- 
ised to repay a hundredfold?" This was the inspiring life- 
thought of the Middle Ages, which here carried out the 
genially literal and genially naive translation of the words of 
the gospel: "As long as you did it to one of these my least 
brethren, you did it to me." Francis knew — as the whole 
Middle Ages knew it — that not even a glass of cold water, 
given by the disciples, would remain unpaid and unrewarded 
by the Master. 

Therefore a pang went through his heart when, one day as 
there was a crowd in the shop, and he was in a hurry to get 
through, he had sent a beggar away. "If this man had come 
from one of my friends," said he to himself, "from Coimt this 
or Baron that, he would have got what he asked for.^ Now 
he comes from the King of kings and from the Lord of lords, 
and I let him go away empty-handed. I even gave him a 
repelling word." And he determined from that day on to 
give to every one who asked him in God's name — per amor 
di DiOf as the Italian beggars still are wont to say.* 

One effect of his kindness to the poor was, perhaps, this — 
as Bonaventture tells it. One of the original characters of 
the village, a half-witted or entire simpleton, who travelled 
around the streets and by-ways, every time he met Francis, 
took off his cloak and spread it out on the ground, and 
asked the young man to step upon it. Perhaps it was the 
same queer fellow, perhaps another of the wandering weaklings 
of the Middle Ages, who used to wander through the streets 
of Assisi, calling out ceaselessly: Pax ei bonumi ("Peace and 
Good I ") After Frauds' conversion this warning voice ceased, 

^ This reflection of Frands gives us a new little insight mto the position 
the young man held in his drde — they used to bonow money £rom him. 

* Two of his biogiaphers — the Anonymous of Perugia and St Bonaven- 
ture — assert that Frands ran after the beggar, found him and gave him the 
ahns he had denied him (i4. 55., Oct II, p. 56s. Bonav., Leg. Uaj.^ cap. I, n. i. 
Tres SocH, cap. I, n. 3. Cdano, Viia prima, I, cap. VII). 


which is treated in the legend as a kind of precursor of the 
great saint's coming.^ 

FinaUy Francis was endowed with a vivid feeling for nature. 
For it was in Provence that this sentiment, now so spontane- 
ous in life as in literature, found, a century later, in the works 
of Petrarch, its first literary expression since the days of 
antiquity. But already in the half-Proven;al Francis it is 
found fully developed — "The beauty of the country, the 
charm of the vineyards, all that was pleasing to the eye" 
rejoiced him, says Thomas of Celano,' and we will not go 
wrong if we regard this feeling as a part of Francis' inheri- 
tance from his mother. This was then a notable element of 
his personality and was temporarily only obscured by the 
^iritual crisis which preceded his conversion. As all good 
which is to grow, so must this side of his nature be pruned 
down even to the very roots — but only to bear a still richer 
crown. For as a German mystic has said: "No one has a 
true love for created things unless he has first forsaken it for 
love of God, so that it has been dead for him ard he dead 
for it." 

^ Bonav., cap. I, n. 3. Tres Socii, VIII, 36. 
* Viia prima, I, cap. II. 


FRANCIS grew up in warlike times. Emperor was 
opposed to pope, prince to king, village was against 
village and burgher against noble. Francis was 
but a child when Frederick Barbarossa at the peace 
of Constance (June 25, 11 83- 11 96) had to grant the Lombardy 
States all the privileges which they, supported by the power 
of the Papacy, had conquered for themselves in the battle of 
Legnano (11 76). Barbarossa's successor, Henry VI (1183- 
1196), meanwhile made the imperial power firm once more 
in Italy, and Assisi, which already in 11 74 had been taken 
by the German Royal Chancellor, Archbi^op Christian of 
Mayence, but which in 11 77 had won its communal freedom 
with its own consuls, had to waive its municipal privileges, 
and bow down under the imperial Duke of Spoleto and Co\mt 
of Assisi, Conrad of Irslingen. 

A year after the death of King Henry, Innocent HI ascended 
the Papal throne, and this powerful Prince of the Church 
immediately took the affairs of the Italian states into his 
own strong hand. Duke Conrad had to go to Nami and 
submit himself to the Pope, and his absence was at once 
utilized by the citizens for an assault by storm on the ^'Zwing- 
burg" (Guarding Castle), which, threatening the city, was 
enthroned on the top of Santo Rosso. The castle was taken 
and so thoroughly laid waste that, when the Papal emissary 
came to take possession of it, as property of Peter, there was 
only a ruin left, the same which still looks down upon Assisi. 
And to be prepared to take the consequences of this daring 
act, the citizens determined to erect a wall aroimd their dty; 
with spirit all went to work, and in the course of an incredibly 
short time the people of Assisi built the city wall with towers, 
which even to^ay has an imposing effect upon the visitor. 



At this time Francis was about seventeen years old, and, as 
Sabatier says, it is not unreasonable to suppose that on this 
occasion he acquired that ability in handling stone and mortar 
which later stood him in good stead at San Damiano and 

Naturally the greatest part of the work, both of tearing 
down and building up, was done by the lower people — 
minoreSy as it was the universal custom to call them. The 
common people thus realized their power, and after overcom- 
ing the foreign foe, the tyrannical German, they turned their 
attention to the foe at home, the minor tyrants, the noble 
lords, whose fortified residences — as later the Steens in the 
Flemish cities — stood here and there in the village. A real civil 
war broke out; the nobles' houses were besieged, many of them 
were burned, and the fall of the nobility seemed inevitable. 

Then the nobles of Assisi turned in their need to Assisi's 
former enemy — the neighboring and powerful Perugia. 
Ambassadors from Assisi's nobility promised to recognize 
Perugia's supremacy over the dty whenever she could come 
to their assistance. 

The republic of Perugia then stood at the summit of its 
power and greatness and eagerly seized the opportunity to 
reduce Assisi to subjection. Its army advanced into the field 
to the relief of the besieged nobility. The citizens of Assisi 
did not lose courage; together with such of the nobility as 
had remained true to their ancestral dty, they met the troops 
of Perugia at the bridge of San Giovanni, on the plain between 
the two dties. Victory fell to the Perugians and a quantity 
of the combatants of Assisi were taken prisoners — among 
them also Francis. On account of his noble appearance the 
young merchant's son was not put in prison with the rest of 
the dtizens, but, just as the laws of many old French cities 
provide for les bourgeois honoraileSf he recdved permission to 
share the lot of the nobility.^ 

The defeat at Ponte San Giovanni took place in the year 

^ Cristolaiii: Siorie ff Assisi, I, Assisi, 1875, pp. 85-96; Le Monnier: Eistaire 
deSL Pronfois d* Assise, If pp. 24-26; P. Sabatier: Vie de 5. Francois d* Assise, 
pp. 12-15. — The place where the battle between the two dties was fought is 
ifiwtn in Viia B. Cdumbae Reaiinae (A. SS., May 20), where it is tdd how Co- 
tamilMi with her father and others accompanying her were captured by ruffians 


I202, the imprisonment in Perugia lasted a year, and, during 
it, Francis astounded his fellow-prisoners by his constant 
cheerfulness. Although there seemed little reason to be con- 
tented he was always to be heard singing and joking, and when 
the others peevishly or angrily rebuked him, he answered only: 
''Do you not know that a great future awaits me, and that all 
the world shall then fall down and pray to me?" This is 
the first expression of his firm conviction of his futxu-e, the 
definite certainty that a great future belonged to him, which 
is so remarkable in St. Francis in these years of his youth. 

In November, 1203 peace was declared between the two 
contending powers. The conditions were that the citizens of 
Assisi should repair the damage they had done to the prop- 
erty of the nobles, and that the nobles should on their part 
not be free to enter into any alliance without permission of 
the city. Francis was now liberated with the other prisoners, 
among whom he who had formerly been an apostle of happiness 
now assumed the rdle of peacemaker. For there was among 
the prisoner-warriors one who, on account of his pride and 
unreasonableness, was very impopular with all. Instead of 
avoiding this difficult character, Francis undertook to be in 
his company, and went so far in this direction, during the 
time of captivity, that the ill-humored unreasonable prisoner 
changed, and was received into the circle of his companions, 
whence he had exiled himself. 

The long intercourse with the noble prisoners seems to have 
affected the yoimg merchant's heart with a greater attachment 
to the ways of life of the nobility than ever, which in the years 
following the imprisonment (1203-1206) became very evident 
in him. It was now that he became a disciple of the ''gay 
science" of Provence; it was now that he submerged himseU 
in the whirl of festivities and enjoyments, out of which his 
sickness, which in his twenty-third year brought him so near 
to the portals of death, was first to rescue him — and even at 
that not too securely. 

on the bridge of S. Giovanni. The author of the biogmpbcy adds to the 
above: ''Memini, me legiase, hoc eodem loco, B. Fiandacum, tunc juvenem, 
cum i^uribus aodalibus careen mandpatum " (ditto, n. 74). — The bridge of 
S. Giovanni ooeBet the Tiber a little north of Perugia. 


FOR even now he was a long way from conversion. 
He had realized his soul's barrenness, but he had 
found nothing with which to fill it. As his con- 
valescence progressed and his strength returned, 
in such measure did he return to his worldly life, and 
trod again the same paths as before his sickness. The only 
difference was that he had no enjoyment now in the life 
he led. There was a sort of uiurest in him, that gave him no 
peace; there was a thorn in his soul that ceaselessly irritated 
bim. More than ever he dreamed of great deeds, of strange 
adventures and of achievements in strange and distant 

And again the life of chivalry presented itself to him as the 
only one which would assuage his soul's indefinable longing 
to attain the highest. From his youth he had been intimate 
with the romances of King Arthxu: and the Knights of the 
Round Table. He too would be a Knight of the Holy Grail, 
he too would go out into the world, offer his blood for the 
cause of the Greatest and Highest, and — for this was not 
excluded from his thoughts — he could return home crowned 
with undying laurels. 

Just at this time the Middle-Ages' long-standing dispute 
between emperor and pope had entered on a new phase. 
Henry VI's widow had invoked the guardianship of Innocent 
ni for the heir to the throne, afterwards the Emperor Frede- 
rick n. One of the oldest of the Emperor's generals, named 
Markwald, made the claim that it was he who, in virtue of the 
will, should properly be regent for king and kingdom.^ But 

1 "Baims f»|MW a regid,** VUa InnocerUii III, quoted by Le Monnier, I, 



Innocent had no idea of giving up what he had undertaken, 
and was prepared to defend his cause with arms. The war 
was carried on in Southern Italy, because the widow-queen, 
Constance, being heir to the Norman kings, was also queen of 
Sicily. Innocent suffered for a long time one defeat after 
another, imtil he entrusted his army to Duke Walter III of 
Brienne, who in the name of his Norman wife, Albinia, laid 
claim to Tarentmn. This illustrious leader overcame the 
Germans in a series of defeats — at Capua, at Lecce, at 
Barletta — and his fame spread over all Italy, and inspired 
all the land. The Germans were hated everywhere; in 
Sidly the word " German " signified coarse, impolite, imjust. 
The French troubadour, Pierre Vidal, wandered through 
Lombardy and sang sarcastic songs about the Germans — 
"I would not be a nobleman in Friesland," he sang, ''if I had 
to hear the language they speak there; it sounds like geese, 
not like the language of men."^ All that was yoimg, proud 
and noble in Italy rose against the foreign dominion, and 
Walter of Brienne's name seemed to wave over inspired ranks 
like a banner blessed by the Pope. 

The national inspiration reached even Assisi; one of the 
nobles of the place armed himself to go with a little troop to 
the aid of Walter's army in Apulia.' As soon as Francis 
heard this, a feverish longing took possession of him. Here 
was the chance he so long had wished for, here was the 
moment which must not be allowed to escape; now or never 
was the time — the nobleman from Assisi should take Francis 
with him in his troop, and Duke Walter should knight him ! 

With all his zeal Francis pondered over the means of carry- 
ing this plan into effect. He was seized by wild joy, such as 
one feels when preparing for a new and, as one may hope, an 
entrancing epoch of life. A sort of ''wanderlust" mastered 
him; he rs^i rather than walked through the streets. His 
friends found that his usual good humor had risen to an 
excessive height, and asked him the reason therefor, when he 

* Lc Monnier, p. 35, n. i. 

' The biographers of Francis did not know the name of Walter of Brienne; 
they allude to him only vaguely imder the title gentUis {Tres Socii) or liberalis 
(Bonaventure). In June, 1205 Walter fell at the siege of Samo, but his army 
prosecuted the contest. 


would answer with glittering eyes: " I know that I am now 
going to be a great prince." ^ 

It goes without saying that nothing was spared in equipping 
the young merchant's son for war. One of his biographers 
says that all of his clothes were "individual and costly."* 
This was what was to be expected in the extravagant and 
luxurious rich young man. But what is also completely 
characteristic of him is that when, just before starting, he met 
one of his fellow-travellers, a nobleman, and saw that he on 
accoimt of his poverty could not clothe and arm himself 
properly, Francis gave all his costly equipment to him, and 
took the nobleman's poor things in exchange. 

Engrossed as he was in the new life, he naturally dreamt 
every night of war and weapons. The very night after he 
had been so generous to the poor knight, such a dream came 
to him, and it seemed to him more pregnant with meaning 
than any of the others. It seemed to him that he — perhaps 
to bid farewell — stood in his father's shop. But instead of 
the rolls of goods which usually filled the shelves from floor 
to ceiling, he saw now on all sides shining shields, bright 
spears, shining armor. And as he wondered he heard a voice 
which said: "All this shall belong to you and to your 
warriors." • 

It was only natural that Francis should take this dream for 
a good omen. And one bright morning he sprang upon his 
horse to go with the rest of the little troop to Apulia. Their 
road led them through the present Porta Nuova to Foligno 
and from Foligno to Spoleto. Here they approached the 
Flaminian Way — the road to Rome and south Italy. And 
here Francis had nearly reached the goal of his warlike 

* *^Scio me magnwn principem afftUurum" (Tres SocU, cap. II, n. 5). In the 
same strain in the prison in Perugia: **Adhuc adorabar per latum mundum" (Tr. 
See., II, 4, and Celano, Viia secunda, I, i). 

• "cuHosa et cara^^ (Tres Socii, cap. n, n. 6). 

' The dream is thus told by Thomas of Cdano (Vita prima, I, cap. II) and 
Julian of Speier (A. SS., Oct. II, p. 564). In the Tres Socii (cap. II, n. 5) the 
locality is no longer his home but is a palace, as also in Thomas of Celano's 
second Biography (I, 2) and in St. Bonaventure (I, 3), and the apparition is 
otherwise enkiiged upon (the weapons are niarked with crosses, a beautiful 
bride awaits Francis in the palace hall, etc.). 


For the same hand which had fonnerly cast him upon a 
sick-bed to bring him to reflection and realization, again 
grasped him in Spoleto. An attack of fever forced him to take 
to his bed, and as he lay there between sleeping and waking, it 
happened that he heard a voice asking him where he wanted 
to go. "To Apulia to be a knight," was the invalid's answer. 
"Tell me, Francis, who can benefit you most: the Lord or the 
servant?" "The Lord," answered Francis in astonishment. 
"Then why do you desert the Lord," repeated the voice, 
"for the servant, and the Prince for his vassal?" 

Then Francis knew who it was who spoke to him, and in the 
words of Paul cried out: "Lord, what do you wish me to do?" 

But the voice answered: "Go back to your home; there it 
shall be told you what you are to do. For the vision you saw 
must be understood in another way!" 

The voice ceased and Francis awoke. The rest of the night 
he lay awake. But when morning came he silently arose, 
saddled his horse and rode back to Assisi in all his warlike 
equipment, which now suddenly seemed to him so vain.^ 

We do not know what reception awaited him at home, but 
we can imagine it. This, like all his other eccentricities, was 
imdoubtedly soon forgiven him, and for a good while he was 
again the centre of his friends' joyous circle. Soon the old 
life with feasting and enjoyment was in full swing; again was 
Francis the one who in spite of all had to be acknowledged 
as the leader of his circle of young men — fios Jv/venum.^ 
If his futile trip towards Apulia was referred to, he replied 
very definitely that he certainly had given it up, but only 
to do great things in his own land.' 

' Tres Socii, cap. II, n. 5, and Cdano, Viia secunda, I» 3. Thomas of 
Cdano in his first life of St. Francis knew nothing of this second dream, he only 
says: "immutatus . . . mente ... ire in Apuliam se recusat"; first through 
the Tres SacU he learned about the strange motive for so unexpected a determi- 

For the connection between the two biographers of Francis and the Tres 
5oaf legend, consult the appendix. One of the biographers would have 
us believe that, as Frauds on his return home passed through Foligno, he 
sold horse and arms^there and bought himself other dothes. (Anonymua 
Perusinus m Ada SS., Oct. 11, p. 565.) 

* Wadding (AnnaUs, vol. I, p. 33). 

* Julian of Spder (A, 55., Oct. II, p. 566, n. 109), Celano, VUa trima^ !» 
cap. III. Tres Socii, cap. V, n. 13. 


He leally had less confidence than he assumed. Opposing 
emotions contended in his sotd — now he listened to the voice 
of the world only, now he longed to serve the Lord whose 
inspiring voice had spoken so pleadingly to him that mght in 
Spoleto. Stronger and stronger the feeling arose in him to 
withdraw from all and in loneliness to become sure of his 
calling. But if he sought his friends no more they sought him, 
and, to avoid all appearance of parsimony, he was the same 
luxurious host as before. 

And thus it happened that one evening — it was in the 
summer of 1205 — invitations were sent out in his usual way 
for a festival which was to be richer and more siunptuous than 
ever. He was to be the king of the feast, and, when the table 
was cleared, all joined in overwhelming him with praise and 
thanks. After the dinner the company as usual went singing 
through the streets, but Francis, who kept a little behind the 
others, did not sing. Little by little he dropped behind his 
friends; soon he was alone in the quiet night in some one of 
Assisi's small steep streets, or in one of its small open squares, 
from which one looks out so far over the lansdcape. 

And there it came to pass that the Lord again visited him. 
The heart of Francis, which was weary of the world and of its 
vanities, was filled with such a sweetness that there was room 
for no other feeling. He lost all consciousness of himself, 
and if he had been cut to pieces limb by limb — as he himself 
later told of it — he would not have known of it, would never 
have tried by a movement to escape it. 

How long he stood there, overcome by the heavenly sweet- 
ness, he never knew. He first came back to himself when 
one of his friends, who had gone back in search of him, called 

"Hello, Francis, are you thinking of your hone3anoon?'' 

And looking up to heaven where the stars were shining, 
then as now in the serene August night, the young man 

"Yes, I am thinking of marrying! But the bride I am going 
to woo is nobler, richer and fairer than any woman you know." 

Then his friends laughed — for a niunber had approached — 
and the wine had made them loquacious. ''Then the tailor 



will again have a job, just as when you started to Apulia, 
we may think some of them said with a sneer. 

Francis heard their laughter and was angry, but not with 
them. For in sudden light the whole of his former life was 
before him, in its folly, its lack of object, its childish vanity. 
He saw himself in all his pitiful reality — and in front of him 
stood in shining beauty the life he hidierto had not led — the 
true life, the just life, the beautiful, noble, rich life — life in 
Jesus Christ. 

In this aspect Francis could be angry at no one but himself, 
and therefore the old legend says also that from that hour 
he began to value himself little.^ 

^ "ab ilia hora ooepit sibi vilesoere." (Tres Socii, cap. m, wbtnce the above 
particulars are CMcntially taken. Compare Celano, VHa sec., I, 3.) 


AN author of the fifteenth century, St. Antonin of 
Florence (1389-1459) in his Chronicles of the 
Church has put the summary of Francis' activities 
in the first year which followed his parting from 
his friends and the joyous life into two lines: '^He now 
kept in hiding in hermit caves, and now piously built up 
ruined churches." ^ Solitary prayer and personal work for 
the kingdom of God were the two means by which the rich 
man's son, yoimg, spoiled and worldly, sought to ascertain 
the will of God as applied to his own case. 

A little way outside of the dty there was a cave in the di£F, 
where he liked to go to pray, sometimes alone, but oftener 
with one of his friends — the only one who seems to have 
remained true to him after his change of mind. None of his 
biographers has preserved for us this man's name — Thomas 
of Celano only says that he was a distinguished person.* 

Francis had by nature a strong inclination to speak of his 
experiences. His biographers say of him, that even against 
his will he would speak of things which occupied him.' It is 
no wonder that he confided in a friend, and in the metaphor of 
the Bible told of the costly treasure which he had found in the 
cave outside the dty, and which only needed to be dug out of 
the soil. But he had to be afone to raise the treasure — 

^ nunc latebat in eremis, nunc ecdesiiirum reparatianibus uisistd>at devotus. 
(S. Ant. Chromam, pan III, tit. 34, cap. 7.) 

* '*magnus inter cetens" (Cd., V. pr., I, cap. HI). Sabatier (Vie, pp. 22-23) 
wQfM identify this associate of the earliest times with Elias of Cortona. This 
b not very logicaL Elias, who, according to Salimbene {Chron., ed. Parm., p. 
402), was by profession a saddlemaker and school-teadier, hardly belonged to 
Francis' circle of arquaintanc«s, much less could be called " magnus inter ceteros." 

' "Jam se amtinere non valens, quaedam ttiam nolens in p«d>licum veibo- 
te&us depromeret" (Julian of Spder in Anal, BoU,, t. XXI, p. 163). 



therefore he left his friend outside while he went in by 

And there apart, in the dark cave, Francis found the secret 
chamber where he coidd pray to his Heavenly Father. Day by 
day the desire to do the will of God increased until he had 
no peace, \mtil he had dearly determined what it was that 
God asked of him. Again and again were the words of the 
psalmist on his lips, the words which are the foimdation of 
all true worship of God: ^'Shew, O Lord, thy ways to me, and 
teach me thy paths" (Ps. xxiv. 4). 

And against this pure ideal his past life stood out dark 
and repulsive. With increasing bittaness he thought of his 
past youth, and it delighted him no longer to think over its 
delights and extravagances. But what was to be done not 
to fall back again? — had he not time and again been warned, 
and had he not time and again despised the warning and 
again followed his inclinations? When friends again called 
on him, when the wine once more seduced him, when the smell 
of the feasts again reached him, and the sounds of violin and 
lute rang in his ears — woidd he then have power to resist, 
would he not as before immerse himself in the glad world of 
festivity and drinking, which hovered like a golden heaven 
over the dark everyday world? 

Francis did not depend upon himself, and God seemed 
unwilling to give him the desired word of he^ which he 
asked for. In agony of mind and desolation of soul, Francis 
fought the battle of his salvation in the loneliness and darkness 
of the cave, and when he finally, torn and tortured, again 
appeared in the light of day, his friends hardly recognized 
him, his face seemed so haggard.^ 

Hius Francis became a man of prayer. He had begun 
to taste the sweetness of prayer and prayed continually. It 
often happened that, as he would be going through the streets 
or about his home, he would stop everything to go off into a 
church to pray.* 

Francis' father seems to have been away from home a great 

^ Cdano, V. pr,, I, cap. m. Cel., V. mc., I, cap. V. 
t «<ip6i]m ad orationem de platea et aliis lods impeilabat" (Tres SccU^ cap. 
m, n. 8). 



deal during this period of change in his son's nature. The 
mother, who, according to the authorities, loved Francis more 
than her other children, let him do just what he wished. In 
one sense he led the same life as before — only that the poor 
had taken the place of his friends. It was they he sought, it 
was to them he gave feasts. One day when his mother and he 
were to sit at table together, he laid out such a quantity of 
bread that there was enough for a large family. When his 
mother asked the reason for such profusion, he answered that 
he had intended it all for the poor. If he met a beggar in the 
street who asked for afans, he gave him all the money he had 
with him. But if his money was all gone, he would give 
him his hat or his belt; sometimes when he had nothing else, 
he would take the poor man with him to a secluded place, 
take off his shirt and give it to him.^ He 
also began to think about poor priests 
and poor churches; he bought church 
goods and sent them secretly to places 
where they were wanting. This is the 
first indication we have of Frauds' vivid 
mterest, manifest in his after life for 
everything relating to churches, and 

whidl, among others, found expression Design in Host Mould; in 

m his sending " to all provinces good and Convent at Grecdo 
fine irons to make fine and white altar-bread with." * 

But first of all the poor were in his thoughts. To see them, 
to hear their troubles, to help them in their necessities — 
these were hereafter his principal concerns. And little by 
little the desire was firmly established within his heart: '*Ii 
I could only find by personal experience how it felt to be poor 
— how it is to be, not one of those who go by and throw down 
a shilling, but to be the one who stands in rags and dirt, and 
humbly bowing, stretches out his faded hat for alms ! " Many 
a time, we may think, he stood among the beggars at some 
church door — stood among them while they pitifully asked 
for a mite. But it was not like him to do only this. He 
himself must do the begging in order to understand poverty, 
and this could not be done in Assisi where every one knew him. 

> Tm SocU, cap. Ill, na. S-^ * Specntum perfectiomt, ed. Sab., cap. LXV. 


It was this which inspired him with the idea of going on a 
pilgrimage to Rome. There in the great dty no one knew 
him, there he could put his plan into execution. 

Perhaps there were some particular circumstances which 
brought near to him this idea of a pilgrimage to the Ai)ostle's 
grave. From September 14, 1204, until March 25, 1206, 
and again from April 4 imtil May ii, 1206, Innocent III 
had transferred the Papal residence to the bishopric of 
St. Peter.^ So long a stay by the unhealthy waters of the 
Tiber may have had some connection with special church- 
functions in St. Peter's — perhaps the granting of some in- 
dulgence. The Bishop of Assisi at this time was also going 
on a journey to Rome.* 

However all this may be, Francis went to Rome. We 
know only a little of his first visit to the Eternal City. He 
approached by the Flaminian Way and apparently at once 
went to St. Peter's. Here he met many other pilgrims and saw 
that they — as was the custom in the Middle Ages — threw 
coins as offerings through the fenesUreUa or grated window 
of the Apostle's tomb. The majority of the gifts were only 
small pieces. Francis stood a while and watched — then the 
last sign of his old desire to show off appeared, he pulled out 
his well-filled purse and threw a whole handful of coins in 
through the grating, so that the money flew about and rang as 
it fell, and all the people were astonished and looked at him. 

The next minute Francis had left the church and called one 
of the beggars aside, and a moment after he had at last fulfilled 
the purpose of the whole journey — as a real beggar clothed 
in real rags he stood among the other beggars on the steps 
which led up to the church.' Of his sensations at this 
moment we know enough when we read in one of his biog- 
raphers that he begged in French, ''which he liked to talk^ 
although he never could do it perfectly." For him French 
was the language of poetry, the language of religion, the 
language of his happiest memories and of his most solemn 

*Potthast: Regesta^ nn. 2280-2727 and 2736-2778. 

'Ughelli: Italia sacra, I, coL 419. 

* "in gradibus ecclesiae" {Tres Socii, cap. Ill, n. 10) "in paradiso ante eccle- 
siam Sancti Petri/' says Thomas of Celano (VUa sec^ I, 4), using for the area 
in front of the church the technical expression "the p&radiae." 


hours, the language he spoke when his heart was too 
full to find expression in everyday Italian, and therefore his 
soul's mother-speech. When Francis talked French, those 
who knew him knew that he was happy. 

How long Francis stayed in Rome is unknown to us. He 
may have started back the day after his arrival. The authori- 
ties only say that after he had shared the beggars' meal he 
took off the borrowed clothes, put on his own and went home 
to Assisi. He had now had the great experience of what it 
was to be poor — he had worn rags and eaten the bread 
of necessity — and although it must have been a happiness 
to be in his own good clothes again, and to sit at home at his 
mother's profuse table, yet he also felt the spiritual fascination 
which contentment and poverty can inspire — what a deh'ght 
it can be to own nothing on this earth except a drink of water 
from the spring, a crust of bread from the hand of a merciful 
man, and a night'^ lodging under the blue heavens with its 
shining stars. Why should he be troubled about so many 
things, about goods and money, house and garden, people and 
flocks, when so little is enough? Does not the Gospel say, 
"Blessed are the poor," and ^'It is easier for a camel to pass 
through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the 
kingdom of Heaven " ? 

Questions of this sort certainly troubled Frauds after his 
return from Rome. With greater zeal than ever he called 
out to God for guidance and light. The friend who used to 
accompany him to the cave seems now to have wearied of 
going on this search for treasures, that was always fruitless. 
The only man to whom Francis now and then revealed himself 
was Bishop Guido of Assisi, who probably was his confessor.^ 

^ Tres Sociif cap. Ill, n. 10. Compare the words which St. Francis, according 
to the Specidum peifeaioms, Baid shortly heioTthiadeAth to & certain Dominus 
Bonaventura in Sienna: '^ab initio meae conversionis posuit Dominus in ore 
episcopi Assisii verbum suum, ut mihi consnleret et bene confortaret in servitio 
Christi" (ed Sab., cap. X, p. 24). See also the Anonymous of Perugia: "parvi 
et magni, masculi et feminae despiciebant et deridebant eos . . . nisi solus 
q>iscopus civitatis, ad quern ibat frequenter beatus Franciscus ad consilium 
postulandum." A, SS,, Oct. 11, p. 584, n. 307 . In the same, n. 208: "Quadam 
vero die cum adiisset beatus Franciscus dominum episcopum." See also CeL, 
V. pr., n. 15; Tres Socii, nn. 30, 35, 47. It follows from all these citations 
that the relations between Frauds and the authorities of the Church had from 
the start been oi the best. 


The light cast upon this period by the Testament which 
Francis has left us has therefore a special value for us. In 
this document, which was written the year before the Saint's 
death, we are told: 

''The Lord granted me to begin my conversion, so that as 
long as I lived in my sins, I felt it very bitter to see the lepers. 
But the Lord took me among them and I exercised mercy 
towards them." ^ 

For the lepers occupied a very particular position among 
the sick and poor of the Middle Ages. Based on a passage 
in the Prophet Isaiah (liii. 4) the lepers were looked upon as 
an image of the Redeemer, more than all other sufferers. As 
early as the days of Gregory the Great we find the story of 
the monk, Martyrius, who met a leper by the wayside, who 
from pain and weariness was fallen to the ground and could 
drag himself no further. Martyrius wrapped the sick man 
in his cloak and carried him to his convent. But the leper 
changed in his arms to Jesus himself, who rose to heaven as 
he blessed the monk, and said to him: ''Martyrius, thou wert 
not ashamed of me on earth; I will not be ashamed of thee 
in heaven!" A similar legend is told of St. Julian, of St. 
Leo IX, and of the Blessed Colombini. 

And so the lepers were more than any others an object for 
pious care during the Middle Ages. For them was founded 
a special order of knights — Knights of Lazarus — whose 
whole office was to take care of the lepers. So too there were 
erected all over Europe the numerous houses of St. George, 
where the lepers were taken care of in a sort of cloistered life. 
Of these lepers' homes there were 19,000 in the thirteenth 
century. But in spite of everything the life of the leper was 
sad enough, they were repulsed by the rest of humanity, and 
they were hedged in by severe laws isolating them and hem- 
ming them in on all sides.* 

As with all other cities, there was also in the vicinity of 
Assisi a lepers' hospital — the lepers were in fact the first real 
hospital patients and in some languages their name expresses 

^ Opuscula S. Prancisci (Quaracchi, 1904)1 P- 77* 

'Chavin de Malan has in his book on St. Frands treated this subject 
thoroughly. See Guasti's Italian tranalatkm of the book (Pntto,iS79), pp. 4S-6a 



this fact. The hospital lay midway between Assisi and 
Portiuncula, near where the words Casa Gualdi appear over 
the entrance to a large estate. It was called San Salvatore 
delle Pareti, and was owned by an order of Crudgers, founded 
under Alexander III for the care of the lepers.^ 

On his walks in this place, Francis now and then passed by 
the hospital, but the mere sight of it had filled him with horror. 
He would not even give an alms to a leper unless some one 
else would take it for him. Especially when the wind blew 
from the hospital, and the weak, nauseating odor, peculiar 
to the leper, came across the road, he would hurry past with 
averted face and fingers in his nostrils.* 

It was in this that he felt his greatest weakness, and in it 
he was to win his greatest victory. 

For one day, as he was as usual calling upon God, it hap- 
pened that die answer came. And the answer was this: 
''Francis! Everything which you have loved and desired in 
the flesh it is your duty to despise and hate, if you wish to 
know my will. And when you have begun thus, all that 
which now seems to you sweet and lovely will become intol- 
erable and bitter, but all which you used to avoid will turn 
itself to great sweetness and exceeding joy." 

These were the words which at last gave Francis a definite 
programme, which showed him the way he was to follow. He 
certainly pondered over these words in his lonely rides over the 
Umbrian plain and, just as he one day woke out of reverie, 
he found the horse making a sudden movement, and saw on 
the road before him, only a few steps distant, a leper, in his 
familiar uniform. 

Francis started, and even his horse shared in the movement, 
and his first impulse was to turn and flee as fast as he could. 
But there were the words he had heard within himself, so 
clearly before him — '' what you used to abhor shall be to 
you joy and sweetness." . . . And whai had he hated more 
than the lepers? Here was the time to take the Lord at Hb 
word — to show his good will. ... 

^ Sabatier: Vie, p. 123, n. z. 

'''vultmn suum semper avertena, nans suas propriia manibus obtuiabat'' 
{Trts SocU, 04). IV, n. iz). 



And with a mighty victory over himself, Francis sprang 
from his horse, approached the leper, from whose deformed 
countenance the awful odor of corruption issued forth, placed 
his alms in the outstretched wasted hand — bent down 
quickly and kissed the fingers of the sick man, covered with 
the awful disease, whilst his system was nauseated with the 
action. . . . 

When he again sat upon his horse, he hardly knew how he 
had got there. He was overcome by excitement, his heart 
beat, he knew not whither he rode. But the Lord had kept 
his word. Sweetness, happiness, and joy streamed into his 
soul — flowed and kept flowing, although his soul seemed 
full and more full — like the dear stream which, filling 
an earthen vessel, keeps on poiuing and flows over its rim, 
with an ever clearer, purer stream. . . . 

The next day Francis volimtarily wandered down the road 
he had hitherto always avoided — the road to San Salvatore 
delle Pareti. And when he reached the gate he knocked, 
and when it was opened to him he entered. From all the 
cells the sick came swarming out — came with their half- 
destroyed faces, blind inflamed eyes, with club-feet, with 
swollen, corrupted arms and fingerless hands. And all this 
dreadful crowd gathered around the yoimg merchant, and the 
odor from their unclean swellings was so strong that Francis 
against his will for a moment had to hold his breath to save 
himself from sickness. But he soon recovered control of 
himself, he drew out the well-filled purse he had brought with 
him, and began to deal out his alms. And on every one of 
the dreadful hands that were reached out to take his gifts 
he imprinted a kiss, as he had done the day before. 

Thus it was that Francis won the greatest victory man 
can win — the victory over oneself. From now on he was 
master of himself, and not like the most of us — his own 

But even the greatest victor in the spiritual field must be 
ever on the watch for his always vigilant enemy. Francis 
had conquered in great things — the tempter tried now to 
bring him to defeat in small things. 

Francis continued as before to go every day to his oratory 


in the cave outside the dty to pray there. Now it often 
happened that on the way there he met a humpbacked old 
woman — one of the common deformed creatures who, in 
the south, so willingly betake themselves to the sheltering 
obsourity of the churches. They can be seen there all day 
long, rattling their rosaries, or dozing in a comer, but the 
instant a stranger approaches, they draw the kerchief around 
their heads, limp out from their comer, and mutter piteously 
with outstretched hand: ^^Un soldo, signorel Un soldo j 
signorino tniol" (A penny, sir! A penny, sir!) 

Such a pitiful old beggar was it who now every day limped 
across the young man's path. And it happened that in the 
newly converted young soul there rose a repugnance and a 
resistance — a repugnance to the dirt and misery of the old 
woman, a resistance to her troublesome ways and to her 
persistency. And as he went on his way, and the sun shone, 
and the fields were green, and the distant mountains showed 
grey-blue, a voice whispered within him: "And are you will- 
ing to give up all this — are you willing to abandon it all? 
You will give up light and sun, hfe and joy, the cheerful 
open-air feasts — and will shut yourself up in a cave and 
waste your best years in useless prayers, and finally become 
an old fool, shaking with the palsy, who pitifully wanders 
about from church to church, and, perhaps in secret, sighs 
and mourns over his wasted life ? ' ' 

Thus the wicked enemy whispered into the young man's 
soul, and this was the moment when Francis' youth and 
light-loving eyes and knightly soul weakened. But as he 
reached his cave he always succeeded in conquering himself 
— and the harder the stmggle had been, the deeper was the 
peace which followed — the joy and the hope — all in con- 
verse with God.i 

^ I beh'eve that in this description I have given the right interpretation of 
the episode, which in the Tres Socii is only told in the following words: "Quaedam 
mulier erat Assisii gibbosa deformiteri quam daemon viro Dei apparens sibi ad 
memoriam reducebat, et comminibatur eidem, quod gibbositatem illius mulierig 
iactaret in ipsum, concepto nisi a proposito resiliret. Sed Christ! miles for- 
tissimus, minas diaboli vilipendens, intra (intrans?) criptam orabat." (Capw 
IV, n. 13.) 



GOD gave me also," thus St, Francis speaks, where 
in his testament he speaks of his youth, '' God gave 
me also so great a confidence in the churches that 
I simply prayed and said this: 'We pray to thee. 
Lord Jesus Christ, here and in all thy churches, all over the 
whole world, and we bless thee because with thy Holy Cross 
thou hast redeemed the world!'" 

"And then the Lord gave me and still gives me so great a 
confidence in priests, who live by the rite of the Holy Roman 
Church, that if they even persecuted me, I would for the sake 
of their consecration say nothing about it. And if I had the 
wisdom of Solomon and travelled in the parishes of poor 
priests, yet I would not preach without their permission. 
And them and all other priests I will fear, love, and honor 
as my superiors, and I will not look on their faults, for I see 
God's Son in them, and they are my superiors. And I do 
this because, here on earth, I see nothing of the Son of the 
Highest God, except his most holy body and blood, which 
the priests receive and which only they give to others. And 
these solemn secrets I will honor and venerate above every- 
thing and keep them in the most sacred places." ^ 

We have here from the last year of Francis' life the most 
authentic testimony as to his feeling all through his life 
towards the Church and the clergy. And this testimony 
coming from himself accords exactly with all that his biogra- 
phers tell us about the same phase of his character. 

^ "in lods preciosis." This referred both to the churches and to the tabtf- 
nacles in which the Blessed Sacrament is kept, and finally to the vessels of the 
altar (dborium, pyx). Opuscula 5. P. Francisci (Quaracchi, 1904), pp. 77-78. 
Compare Celano, V. pr.^ n. 45; Tres Socii, n. 37; Anon. Penis. (A, SS,, Oct. II), 
p. 584, n. 210; Bonav., n. 42. 



It has already been told how Francis showed his interest 
in church affairs in supplying poor churches with proper 
vestments and the like, llie environs of Assisi even to-day 
contain enough of such small churches, road- and field- 
chapelsy often half in ruin. Their doors are frequently 
locked, so seldom are they used; one can look into them through 
low windows, outside of which kneeling benches are often 
placed, and on the altar there will be seen a torn cloth, laid 
awry, wooden vases with dusty paper flowers, and wooden 
candlesticks which were once gilded but are now cracked 
and grey. 

Nevertheless there can be something very devotional in 
such lonely deserted churches. If they are open so that one 
can enter, perhaps on the walls will be foimd half-obliterated 
old frescoes, painted by those disciples of Giotto or Simone 
Martini who, in the fourteenth century, seem to have person- 
ally visited the most remote of the smaller cities and villages 
of the Apennines. The holy-water font is long empty and 
full of dust, but as one kne^ in prayer, the wind is heard 
sighing through the chestnut groves or a mountain stream 
foams in the solemn loneliness. 

The old chiurch of San Damiano, a little outside of and 
below the dty, was such a half-ruined chapel in the time of 
Francis' youth.^ The road to it has not changed much in the 
seven centuries which have passed; it slopes rather steeply 
and passes by a broad whitewashed house, with large, yellow 
grain-houses of the shape of beehives around it, and among 
the olive groves, where the com grows luxuriantly under the 
gnarled oUve trees' fine silver-grey web of branches and 
leaves. In fifteen minutes' walking San Damiano is reached, 
|# which now is a convent, occupied by brown Franciscans. 
p In the dajrs of Francis' youth, San Damiano was only a 

little tottering field-chap>el, whose material adornment con- 
sbted of a large Byzantine crucifix over the high altar. In 
front of this crucifix Francis was often wont to pray, and thus 
it happened to him that once, a little while after his visit to 
the lepers, he knelt one day in prayer before the image of the 

'Hils was mentioned in 1030. Henry Thode: Pratu v. Assisi und die 
Airfdmts der Kumsi (Berlin, 1885), p. 398. 


Crucified One within the cfaiirch of San Damiano. After he 
had placed himself in thought upon the Cross for the first 
time, this spiritual crucifixion became a favorite exercise for 
his meditations. With an imploring gaze fixed upon the 
hallowed countenance of Jesus, he uttered the following 
prayer, which tradition has preserved for us: 

''Great and glorious God, my Lord Jesus Christ I I im- 
plore thee to enlighten me and to disperse the darkness of 
my soul! Give me true faith and firm hope and a perfect 
charity! Grant me, O Lord, to know thee so well that in 
all things I may act by thy light, and in accordance with 
thy holy will!"* 

The whole of the young man's striving in the year that had 
passed since he had stood on the roadside not far from San 
Damiano, and had found the world empty and his soul a 
waste, are gathered together and framed in this simple and 
profound prayer. This it was that he had always sought for 
and wished for, through all his errors and weakness — light to 
see the will of God and to act in accordance therewith. The 
whole of his life from that time up to this moment had been 
one repetition in many forms, but with increasing fervor, 
of the words: "Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth!" 

And so it came to pass that God deigned to speak to his 
servant, Francis. From the crucifix came a voice that could 
only be heard within the heart, and what the voice said was 
this: ''Now go hence, Francis, and build up my house, for 
it is nearly falling down!" 

And just as that time in Spoleto, when he was commanded 
to abandon his journey to Aquila, Francis was at once ready 
to obey the divine message. Simple and literal as he was, 
he looked about him in the old chapel and saw that it was 
nearly falling down. And trembling under the solemnity of 
the moment, he answered the Crucified One who had vouch- 
safed to speak to him: "Lord, with joy will I do what thou 

At last God had heard his prayer! at last God had set him 
to work! And quick in his movements as Francis was, he 
at once set to work to carry out the Lord's directions. Out* 

^ Waddiog: Annates Minorum^ I (Romae, 1731), p. 31. 


side the door he found the priest of the place, a poor old 
Father, sitting in the sun on a stone bench. The young man 
approached him deferentially, kissed his hand in greeting, 
took out his pxirsey and gave to the astonished priest a con- 
siderable sum of money, saying: '^I beg you to buy oil with 
this money so that there shall always be a lamp burning 
before the crudfiz within, and you may let me know when 
there is no more and I will supply it again." 

Before the old priest could recover from his astonishment 
Francis was gone. His heart was overflowing, his soul was 
trembling with the great event that had happened to him>. 
As he went along, he made now and then the sign of the Cross, 
and it seemed as if he each time imprinted deeper and deeper 
the image of the Crucified One upon his heart. Unsurpass- 
ably true and incomparably beautiful, the old legend goes on 
to say that from that hour the thought of the sufferings of 
our Lord made Frauds' heart melt, so that he from now on 
as long as he lived bore in his heart the woimds of our Lord 

But more money was needed to build up San Damiano's 
church than what Francis had with him at the moment. 
But in the interim he had not the least doubt as to how he 
should get the necessary means. As fast as his feet could 
carry him he hurried home, took some rolls of fine cloth out 
of the shop, loaded a pack-horse with it, and took the road to 
Foligno, to bring his goods to the market in this large neigh- 
boring dty as he had been wont to do. In the course of a 
short time he had sold both goods and horse, and was back 
with the money to San Damiano — the distance between the 
two places is a small number of miles, and Francis rode on 
the outward trip. 

Perhaps he found the priest still on the stone bench, sun- 
ning himself as he returned. In any case, the young man 
found him, and as he again greeted him reverentially, he put 
the whole sum of money, no inconsiderable one, which his 

^ "Ab flla itaque bora ita vulneratum et liquefactum est cor ejus ad memoriam 
Dominicae passionis, quod semper dum vixit, stigmata Domini Jesu Cbristi 
in oorde soo portavit" (Tres Socii, cap. V, n. 14. Compare Booav., Le^. 
Majcff I, n. 5, II, n. x). 


transaction had brought him, into the priest's lap, with the 
words that it was for the restoration of the chiuxh.^ 

The priest had accepted the former and less considerable 
alms, but when Francis now came with all this sum of money, 
and wished to give it to him, he feared that something was 
wrong, and said no. Perhaps he thought that it was one of 
the young society man's wild impulses, and that the gift was 
not seriously meant. In any case, he wanted to stand well 
with Pietro di Bemardone, and was therefore determined to 
haye nothing more to do with the a£Fair. In vain did Francis 
sit down by the side of the old priest and use all his powers 
of persuasion to weaken his determination. All was futile; 
Francis only obtained this much: the priest would permit 
him to live at San Damiano for a while, to devote himself 
without interruption to prayer and works of piety. 

From now on. Frauds was virtually ordained to lead what 
was called in the Middle Ages ''a religious life," that is to say, 
the life of a monk or hermit. He did not think of entering 
a convent, — in his Testament he says himself thdt no one 
showed him the way to his viki rdigiosa, but that the Almi^ty 
taught it to him. But in referring to the change that came 
to him at this time, he uses the exact classical expression in 
the same place, which designates the entering an order: ''to 
leave the world," Exivi de saeculo, he says, "I abandoned 
the world." ' The time he was now to spend with the priest 
in San Damiano can be properly regarded as his novitiate — 
but a novitiate in which the spirit of God alone was his teacher^ 
director and taskmaster. 

Near the priest's house there was a cave, and, true to his 
custom, Francis had chosen this as his prayer chamber. 
Here he spent nights and days in prayer and fasting, with 
tears and ''unspeakable groanings."' 

While these things were occurring, Pietro di Bemardone 
had been on one of his business trips. Now he rejtumed home 
and did not find his son. Pica did not know what had be- 
come of him, or, if she did know, would not tell. But, how- 
ever this may be, the old merchant soon found his son's 

^ Tres Socii, cap. VI, n. i6. Thomas of Celano, Vita frima^ I, cap. IV. 
*Opuscuia (Quar., 1904), pp. 79, 77. • Rom. viii., 26. 


hiding place, and betook himself thither, but did not find 
Francis, who was hidden in his cave. Meanwhile, the priest 
seems to have utilized the opportxmity to give Pietro di 
Bemardone the money from his son's business transaction; 
Francis had laid it aside in a window recess in the church. 
The disappearance of the cloth and of the horse had naturally 
been one of the causes of the coming of Pietro di Bemardone; 
after he had recovered the money, he went home much 
quieted, and spent a whole month without making any new 
attempt to find or to speak to his first-bom. Food was 
meanwhile brought to him in the cave from his home — 
probably by his mother's contrivance.* 

It is fair to say that Francis employed this month to imbue 
himself in the great thought which, from now on, presented 
itself to him as the essence of Christianity — the life of Christ 
the Crucified in every one of the faithful. The Epistle of Paul 
to the Romans is one of the Biblical writings Francis most 
frequently quotes.' And it is precisely in this book that 
Paul appears more strongly than elsewhere to be not only 
the great Christian dogmatic, but also the great Christian 
mystic. This is neither scientific hypothesis nor flower of 
literature, but is in accordance with the facts, when I find 
the emotions of the young son of the Italian merchant, in this 

^ Cdano, ViUi primal I, cap. V. Tres Socii, cap. VI, n. 16. — According to a 
later tradition Frands, on Ms father's return, found refuge in an opening which 
miraculously appeared in the road, and into which he disappeared, while his 
bther walked past it. Wadding (I, p. 31) is the first who refers to this '*con- 
cavitas . . . cui ego, quo potui i^ectu et reverentia memet immersi." The 
hole, upon whose rear wall is a life-size painting of St. Frands, is still shown 
to those who visit S. Damiano — as a rule with the above explanation. So far 
from having any miraculous origin, the said excavation has its origin in the 
desire men, in old as well as recent times, have had to perpetuate the height of 
cddxated persons (compare the gate in the Lateran church m Rome, said 
to be ol the4ieight of Our Lord — the historic column in the cathedral in Ros- 
kilde, etc). In his AnmUes (1226, n. 42) Wadding for instance tells the follow- 
ing ol St Qara, the friend of St. Frands, into whose possession, as is known, 
San Damiano eventually passed: "mensa est sancti patris corpus, ad cujus 
atatuiam postea cuxavit fieri quoddam receptaculuin ad tribunae dorsum, 
obi et ejus imaginem fedt depingi." This explains the exbtence of the recess 
or excavation as wdl as of the painting. 

*Thus in the AdmonUumes^ cap. VI: Rom. viii. 35; cap. XI: Rom. ii. 5; in 
the first Rule, cap. IX: Rom. xiv. 3; cap. XI: Rom. i. 29-30; in the second 
Rule, cap. IX: Rom. ix. 28. 


time of proof and probation at San Damiano, expressed in 
these words of the eighth chapter of the Epistle to the 

''There is now, therefore, no condemnation to them that are 
in Christ Jesus, who walk not according to the flesh. For 
the law of the spirit of life, in Christ Jesus, hath delivered me 
from the law of sin and of death . . . that the justification 
of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to 
the flesh, but according to the spirit. . . . For if you live 
according to the flesh, you shall die: but if by the kpirit you 
mortify the deeds of the flesh, you shall live. For whosoever 
are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. . . . 
For the Spirit himself giveth testimony to our spirit, that we 
are the sons of God. And if sons, heirs also: heirs, indeed of 
God, and joint heirs with Christ: yet so if we suffer with him, 
that we may be also glorified with him. . . . For whom he 
foreknew, he also predestinated to be made conformable to 
the image of his Son: ..." 

It is probable that to this month at San Damiano we may 
assign an occurrence, preserved for us in the legends without 
any more exact chronology. Francis was seen one day 
wandering around on the plain below Assisi in the vicinity of 
a little old chapel which was called ParHuncula or S. Maria 
degli A ngdiy " Our Lady of the Angels." He wandered around 
the chapel sighing and weeping as if overcome by a great 
sorrow. A passer-by approached him and asked in sympa- 
thy what had gone wrong with him, and why he wept. Then 
Francis answered: "I am weeping over the sufferings of my 
Lord Jesus Christ, and I will not be ashamed to wander 
around the whole world and weep over them." This so 
affected the stranger that he too began to shed tears, and they 
wept together.^ 

Thus for Francis of Assisi the life began, not after the flesh 
but after the spirit, which was to lead him ever higher, until 
he approached as near as man can attain to the image of 
Jesus Christ, the Crucified. 

^ Tres Socii, cap. V, n. 14. Celano, Viia secunda^ I, cap. VI. 


ONE April day in the year 1207, Pietro di Bemardone 
stood behind the counter in his shop, when he 
heard a great noise in the street — the sound of 
many voices, shouting, screaming, and laughter. 
The noise approached nearer and nearer; now it seemed to be 
at the nearest comer. The old merchant signed to one of his 
clerks to nm out and see what was going on. 

"t/fi pazzo, Messer Pietro/ " was the clerk's contemptuous 
report. ''It is a crazy man, whom the boys are chasing!" 

The clerk stood yet a moment and turned around white 
in the face. He had seen who the crazy man was. . • . 

And a moment after, Pietro di Bemardone stood in the 
doorway, and saw in the midst of the howling crowd who 
now were close to the house, his son^ his Francis, his first- 
bom, for whom he had dreamt such great things, and for 
whom he had nourished such bright hopes. . . . There he 
came now home at last, in a disgraceful company, pale and 
emaciated to the eye, with dishevelled hair and dark rings 
under his eyes, bleeding from the stones thrown at him, 
covered with the dirt of the street, which the boys had cast 
upon him. . . . This was his Francis, the pride of his eyes, 
the support of his age, the joy of his life and his comfort — it 
had come to this, to this had all these crazy, cursed ideas 
brought him. . . . 

Sorrow, shame, and anger almost overcame Pietro di 
Bemardone. Nearer and nearer came the shouting and 
howliAg throng — mercilessly grinning they called to him 
where he stood upon his steps: "See here, Pietro di Bemar- 
done, we bring you your pretty son, your proud knight — 



now he is coining home from the war in Aquila, and has won 
the princess and half the kingdom!'' 

The old merchant could control himself no longer. He had 
to give way to rage to avoid weeping. Like a wild beast he 
ran down into the mob, striking and kicking to right and left, 
until the crowd, fairly frightened, opened and dispersed. With- 
out a word, he seized his son and took him up into his arms. 
His rage gave the old man a giant's strength: raging and 
gritting his teeth he bore Francis through the house and 
finally threw him, almost exhausted and out of his senses, 
down upon the floor in a dark cellar, where he locked him in. 
With trembling hands he stuck the keys in his belt and re^ 
turned to his work.^ 

Pietro di Bemardone's hope was to overcome his son's last 
madness with a good term of career — to use the German 
students' expression. To the dark prison he added therefore 
in addition a diet of bread and water, thinking that he would 
thus reach his son's weak point, whose sweet tooth he had 
known since his early days.* 

But the old days were gone, and Francis had changed^'—he 
was approaching the times when he would sprinkle ashes on 
his food, if it tasted too good, saying to his brothers that 
"Brother Ashes" was chaste.* And when Messer Pietro 
after the lapse of a few days had to go out again, and Fru 
Pica opened the door of the prison, hoping to do with her 
tears and prayers that which imprisonment and himger had 
not accomplished, she found her son uncowed and unsubdued, 
yes, glad to have suffered something for his convictions. 

After she realized that Francis would not give up his new 
mode of life, she took advantage of the absence of her husband 

' I have here attempted, as I have done in the first chapter and in the end 
of chapter V, a fuller psychological description of that which biographers have 
only given a few words to. But no fault can be found with the description of 
Pietro di Bemardone in the Tres SocU ("torvo oculo/' "hirsuta fade," etc). 
Like all who, as oppos^ to an absolute ideal, represent the more limited 
scope of the practical, Pietro di Bemardone has crften been unjustly condemned. 
See Cdano, Vita prima, cap. V, n. 15. 

'"ut ipse vir Dei confessus postea est frequenter, electuariis et confectionibus 
utebatur et a cibis contrariis abstinebat." Tres SocU, cap. VII, n. 23. 

*''in dbis, quos edebat, saepe ponebat dnerem, dioens fratribus in absti- 
nentiae suae veUmen, fratrem cinerem esse castum." Tres Socii, cap. V, n. 15. 


and set the prisoner at liberty. And as a bird flies to its nest, 
Francis at once returned to his refuge by San Damiano. 

Fietro di Bemardone soon retiuned from his trip and found 
the cage empty. Instead of again seeking his son in San 
Damiano, he tried the law. He turned to the lawyers of the 
city for the piupose of disinheriting his erring son, or at any 
rate of banishing him from the locality.^ Furthermore, he 
wanted to get back all the money that Francis was in posses- 
sion of. Apparently the mother had not let her son go away 
from home empty-handed; perhaps all the money of the 
Fohgno transaction was not yet spent. 

In the words of the chronider, Mariano, Pietro di Bemar- 
done was ^'Reipublicae benefactor et provisor'' (a benefactor 
and guardian of the republic) — one of the city's greatest 
benefactors.^ Nothing was more likely than that the author- 
ities would seek to accede to his request, and the herald of 
the state was sent down to arrest Francis. On his part he 
refused to obey the summons, answering: ''By the grace of 
God I am now a free man and not obliged to appear before 
the court, because I am only the servant of the Highest God." 
As Sabatier has remarked, this answer can only be taken in 
the sense that Francis had now received the lower orders and 
so came under the jurisdiction of the Church. The intimate 
relations between him and the Bishop of Assisi give this sup- 
position great probability.' 

The father seems to have awaited the return of the herald 
in the City Hall. In any case, the lawyers let him know at 
once that they to their sorrow had to let the case go. Pietro 
di Bernardone, however, would not let the legal prosecution 
thus begun cease, and shortly brought his complaint into the 
episcopal palace on the Piazza del Vescavado before the 
representatives of the Church. The affair was here taken 
up, and at an appointed time father and son met before the 

From the first it was evident on whose side his sympathies 

1 Julian of Spder (A, SS,, Oct. 11, p. 568, n. 124). 
'Quoted in Wadding (I, p. 17). 
' Sabatier: Vie^ p. 68, n. 2. 

* Guido n had occupied the Bishop's throne in Assisi since 1204. Cristo- 
£aoi: StorUy I, 169 et seq.; Sabatier: Vie^ p. 69, n. 2. 



were. The motive, which he adduced to persuade Frands 
to return all the money he might have received from his 
father, was anything but acceptable to Pietro di Bemardone. 

K it is your desire to serve God," said he to the young man, 

then give his mammon back to yoiu: father, which perhaps 
has been obtained by unjust methods, and therefore shoidd 
not be used for the benefit of the Church." * 

These words, said in the presence of the numerous hearers 
who had come to the place to hear the celebrated suit between 
one of the city's most distinguished men and his crazy son, 
were not adapted to padfy the old merchant. All eyes 
turned from him to his son, who sat on the other side of the 
Bishop, still dothed in his costly scarlet clothes. And now 
something wonderful happened — something that never be- 
fore had happened in the world's history, and never will 
happen again — something which the painters of succeeding 
centuries should immortalize, which poets should sing of, 
and priests preach about. Frands stood up in silence with 
streaming eyes. "My Lord," said he, turning towards the 
Bishop, "I will not only give him the money cheerfully, but 
also the dothes I have recdved from him." And before 
anyone had time to think what he intended to do, he had 
disappeared into an adjoining room, back of the courtroom, 
a moment later to reappear, naked^ except for a girdle of hair- 
doth about his loins, and with his dothes on his arm. All 
involuntarily stood up — Pietro di Bemardone and his son 
Francis were face to face. And with a voice that trembled 
with emotion, the young man said, as he looked over the 
heads of the audience, as if he saw some one or something in 
the distance: 

"Listen, all of you, to what I have to say I Hitherto I 
have called Pietro di Bemardone father. Now I return to 
him his money and all the dothes I got from him, so that 
hereafter I shall not say: Father Pietro di Bemardone, but 
Our Father who art in heaven!" 

And Frands bent down and laid his dothes of scarlet and 
fine linen at his father's feet, with a quantity of money. A 
mighty movement ran through the audience. Many began 

^ Trts S0CH9 cap. VI, n. 19. 


to weep; even the Bishop had tears in his eyes. Only Pietro 
di Bemardone w&s unmoved. With a face of stone, he stooped 
down, white with rage but without uttering a word, and took 
up the clothes and money. Then the Bishop stepped over 
to Francis, spread his cape over him, and clothed the 
naked young man in its white folds as he pressed him to 
his heart. From now on Francis was what he so long had 
wished to be — the servant of God only and a man of the 

When the first strong emotion was over, and Francis was 
alone with the Bishop, he began to think of clothing for the 
young man. In the Bishop's residence there was foimd an 
old cloak which had been the property of the gardener; 
Francis took this with delight and, as he left the Bishop's 
palace, drew with a bit of chalk he had found a cross on the 
back of the poor garment.^ 

It was in April, 1207,' that Pietro di Bemardone's son thus 
literally complied with the words of the gospel^ to forsake 
everything and, taking up the Cross, to follow Jesus. The 
Umbrian April is equivalent in point of view of the season 
to May, or better, June, in Denmark. The clear sim shines 
day after day brightly from a clear sky. The air is fresh and 
healthy, purified by the many downpours of the winter's 
rain. The roads are not yet dusty, but firm and good to 
travel over, and the com is growing imder the olive trees, 
bright green and of half its final height, sprinkled with quan- 
tities of bright red poppies. It is the most beautiful of the 
Italian seasons, far better than the imhealthy, torrid, fever- 
bearing autmnn. 

It was on such a sunny April morning that Pietro di Bemar- 
done's son, clothed in the old gardener's cloak, left the Bishop's 
palace in Assisi to go out into the world, like one of those 

^ The only one who tells of this is St. Bona venture (Leg. maj., II, 4), who 
appafcntly got it from Brother Illuminato of Rieti, who is responsible for many 
other minor traits (See Appendix). 

'This date seems to follow from the following place in Anon. Penis. (A. 
55., Oct. n, p. 572, n. 141) :*'Po8tquam impleti smit anni ab incamatione Domini 
MCCVn mens Aprilis, XVI kalendas Maii, videns populum suum Dominus 
. • mandatorum ejus oblitum . . . sua benignissim& misericordii motus 
voluit operarios mittere in messem suam et illuminavit vinun qui erat in dvi- 
tate As^sii, nomine Frandscum.*' XVI kalendas Mail is April 16. 


evangelic '' Strangers and Pilgrims'' the Scripture tells of. 
Every man's life is the fruit of his innermost will, and therefore 
Francis had attained that which he so long had striven for — 
that which he had put to the proof in Rome, what he had 
prayed for in the solitude of the Umbrian cave — to be allowed 
to follow the naked and suffering Saviour, himself naked and 

Francis wandered forth from the home of his youth and 
from the dty of his early days, from father and mother, from 
family and friends, from all his past and all his memories. 
He went neither out to San Damiano, nor down the plain to 
Portiuncula's little chapel. There are moments in the life of 
man when the soul is drawn to the greatest things in nature's 
gift — to the mountains or to the sea. Francis wandered 
forth from Assisi by the gate in the direction of Monte Subasio, 
on the road which takes one up the mountain. And remem- 
bering the words of the gospel, about him who la3rs his hand 
to the plough, he certainly never looked back imtil the towers 
and roofs of Assisi were long out of sight beneath him and he 
found himself alone on the heights of Monte Subasio, — 
in a yoimg oak-woods or among great barren fields of stone. 
Hence his glance wandered far over the world; the valley of 
Spoleto. lay under his feet, as if seen from an air-balloon, 
with its white roads, bright rivers, fields, with olive trees in 
regular order, and houses and churches like toys. The moun- 
tains, which below Assisi hem in the horizon, seem sunken 
down and low, and behind them, higher ones of paler blue 
lift up their suimnits — the far-distant Apennines. 

Francis had started off in the direction of Gubbio. In this 
village, which in a straight line is not very many miles from 
Assisi, lived one of the friends of his earliest youth — perhaps 
the same friend who used to go with him to discover the 
treasure in the cave. It inevitably takes time to wander 
about the mountains; day was already waning aiid Francis 
had not yet crossed the wild wood-grown mountain side that 
separates Assisi from Valfabbrica. Still he wandered along 
confidently and sang in French the praises of God, as he was 
wont to do in the happiest moments of his life. Then there 
was a rustling among the dry leaves that spread the ground^ 


the branches and twigs were disturbed, and a robber band 
broke out from conceahnent with a threatening ''Who is 
there?" Undisturbed Francis answered: ''I am the herald 
of the great King. But what is it that you desire?" The 
highwaymen looked for a moment at the wonderful apparition 
in the shabby cloak with the chalk-drawn cross on the back. 
Thai they determined to let him go without further molesta- 
tion, but so as to let him know what he had escaped, they 
took him by the arms and legs and flimg him into a cleft, 
where the snow, in spite of the April sun, was still deep. ''Lie 
there, you peasant, who wants to play at being a herald!" 
they said to him, and departed. It was only with difficulty 
that Francis managed to work his way out of the drift in the 
deft; singing the praises of God as before, he wandered on 
over the moimtain.^ After a little space of time he drew near 
to a little Benedictine convent, where he received shelter in 
exchange for serving in the kitchen. Here he stayed several 
days in the hope that he would be able to supplement his 
scanty garments by a cast-off monk's costume. They gave 
him while there hardly enough food, and, as his first biog- 
rapher says, ''not actuated by anger, but driven by neces- 
sity," he went on to Gubbio. It is easy to believe that the 
prior of the convent came to give excuses after Francis had 
become a celebrity. But at this time Francis was not cele- 
brated, and it is also credible that the good prior never 
gave a thought to his hard-hearted inhospitaUty. And yet 
St. Benedict in the Rule of his Order commands: "The 
strangers shall be received as Christ."* 

At last Francis reached Gubbio, and there found a friend, 
from whom he received the clothing he had wished for and 
which was the same that hermits used to wear, with a girdle 

^Cdano, Vita prima, I, cap. Vn. Julian, A. 55., Oct. H, p. 575, nn. i6o-i6x. 
Bonav., 11, 5. Accordiiig to Lucazelli (Memoria e guida siorica di Gubbio, Citta 
cK Castdlo, 1868, p. $83) the meeting of Francis and the robbezs occurred near 
Caprignone, where are still be to seen frescoes of the fourteenth to the fifteenth 
centuries in an old convent church. One of these shows Francis clothing him- 
self in a ragged garment. 

*Reg. S. BtnedicH, cap. LIII: "Omnes supervenientes hospites tanquam 
Christus susdpiantur." — A local tradition, which is not incredible, places 
this scene at the cknster of Sta. Maria della Rocca (la Rocchiduola), between 

Bfli and Valfaibbrica. See my book "Reisebogen " (2d ed., 1905), pp. i2a-xS3. 


around the body and shoes and staff .^ Other friendly services 
he did not accept, and the biographers tell how Francis lived 
in the hospital of Gubbio, how he washed the lepers' feet, 
bound up their sores, treated their boils, dried up the matter, 
and often kissed the suppurating sores.' 

But meanwhile Francis' own particular work awaited him 
in San Damiano near Assbi, and one day he found himself 
there again, to begin the work God had given him to do — to 
restore the church edifice. During his absence rumors seem 
to have flown fast, for the priest was, it appears, anything 
but glad to see him again, and Francis had to appeal to the 
word of the Bishop, which affirmed that he had the approval 
of the authorities of the Church.' 

A question, which never before had occupied Francis, now 
presented itself to him in all its prosaic obtrusiveness — the 
question of money. Where would the money come from with 
which to restore San Damiano? If necessary Francis could 
handle the trowel, but stone and mortar could not be had for 

And this last was the very thing Francis undertook to 
provide for — to procure for nothing the required stone and 
lime. Now he could avail himself of what he had learned 
in his troubadour and jongleur days. One day men saw 
Francis in his hermit robes in the market-place in Assisi, 
singing in public like another wandering minstrel. And when 

1 "quasi heremiticum fereas habitum, accinctus corrigia et baculum manu 
gestans caloeatis pedibus incedebat/' Celano, VUa ^ma, I, cap. IX, and 
Tres Socii, VIII, 2$, Giuseppe Mazzattnti has in MlsceUanea Prancescana 
(vol. V, pp. 76-78) maintained that the friend in Gubbio was Frederioo Spada- 
lunga, the oldest of three brothers, himself, Giacomello and Antonio. In the 
time of Aroldi there were still to be seen in the Palazzo dei ConsoU in Gubbio, 
frescoes, whose subject was the kindness of Spadalunga to Frands. In the 
first of these "si representa S. Francesco nudo e havendo in terra dietro a se 
alcuni stracct, riceve una veste in atto di ricuoprirsi da un huomo il quale mostra 
di essere giovanetto" (F. Haroldus: Epitome Annalium Ord, h£in., Roma, 1662, 
vol. I, p. 29, quoted by Mazzatinti, loc. cit.). I avail myself of this oppor- 
tunity to refer to the remarkable Journal, named above. Miscellanea Frances- 
cana^ which now for a number of years has been published in FoHgno by the 
learned canon, Mgr. Mich. Faloci-Puligani. (Unfortunately this journal, 
which is a real gold-mine for those interested in our subject, is not Oifily to be 
found in public libraries.) 

' Bonav., Leg. majors cap. II, n. 6. 

• Tres SocU, VII, 21. 


he had ended his song, he went around among his auditors 
and begged ^' He who gives me a stone will have his reward 
in heaven," said he; ''he who gives me two stones will have 
two rewards; he who gives three stones will receive three 
rewards." Many laughed at him, but Francis only laughed 
back. Others, die legend tells us, ''were moved to tears to 
see him converted from such great worldliness and vanity 
to such an intoxication of love to God." Francis actually 
succeeded in getting together a quantity of stone, which he 
carried away on his own shoulders. He also did the masonry 
work, and people who went by used to hear him singing in 
French as he worked. If anyone stopped to look at him, he 
would call out to them: "You had better come and help me 
to build up St. Damian's church again." ^ 

Such zeal and self-sacrifice could not fail to afiPect the old 
priest of San Damiano's, and to show Francis his appreciation 
he used every evening to wait upon him with one or another 
selected dish, according to his limited means. This went on 
very well for a time, until one fine day it occurred to Francis 
to ask himself if he ever would be able on his return to the 
world to be certain of finding so attentive a host as here. 
What I am doing, said he to himself, is not living the life 
of a poor man, as I have wished to do. No, a real pauper 
goes from door to door with his bowl in his hand and takes 
everything that good men will give hun. And this is what I 
must do from now on! 

Scarcely had the midday bell rung in Assisi the next day, 
and the people were sitting at their tables, when Francis with 
his bowl in hand went on his drcuit through the city. He 
knocked at all doors and got something at many of them — 
here a sup of soup, a bone with a little meat on it, a crust of 
bread, some leaves of salad, all sorts of things mixed together. 
When Francis had ended his begging trip his bowl was full, 
but of the most unappetizing mixture one could think of. 
Lost in thought, the young man sat on a stoop and stared 
down into the bowl, which seemed most like a trough filled 

» Tre^ocii, VII, 24. Th. of Cclano, Vita prima, I, cap. VIII. By the 
fint named of these two biographers this invitation is made into a prophecy 
referring to St. Clara and her nuns, who were to build there later. 


with dog's meat. Nearly vomitiiig with nausea, he put the 
first bit to his lips. 

And beholdl — it was just as when he kissed the leper in 
other times. His heart was filled with the sweetness of the 
Holy Ghost, and it seemed to him as if he never had tasted 
such exquisite food. Entranced, he rushed home and said to 
the priest that for the future he should do his own providing 
well enough. 

Thus was the son of Pietro di Bemardone become a pubUc 
beggar, and it is easy to understand that the old, purse-proud 
merchant, so jealous of his honor, felt the blow even heavier 
than any of the preceding ones. From now on he could not 
bear to see his son, but burst out into wild curses when he met 
him. Francis was perhaps not altogether insensitive to this 
outburst of wrath; in any case, from this time Francis used to 
take with him an old beggar named Albert on these peregri- 
nations, and when they would meet Pietro di Bemardone, 
Francis would kneel down in front of his companion and would 
say: ''Bless me, father!" ''See now," he would say, turning 
to the old merchant, " God has given me a father who blesses 
me, in your place, who curse me!"^ 

Francb' younger brother, Angelo,' also shared in the per- 
secution of the voluntary beggar and church builder. One 
cool morning he saw Francis, who in hb humble clothes 
was hearing mass, in one of the churches of Assisi. Then 
Angelo said to his companion, and so loud that hb brother 
could hear him: ''Go there and ask Francis if he will not 
sell you a shilling's worth of sweat I" Francis heard it and 
answered back in French: "I have already sold it at a good 
price to my Loid and Saviour I" 

Meanwhile the work at San Damiano progressed rapidly. 
It was more a putting to rights than a rebuilding.* As a sort 

^ Tres Sociiy cap. VII, n. 25. Anon. Penu., A. SS., Oct. II, p. 577, n. 167. 

*The name is preserved in old documentSi printed in Cristofani's Siorie 
d* Assisi, I, pp. 78 et seq. See Sabatier, Vie, p. 2, n. a, together with the family 
tree copied from a manuscript of 1381, which the Bollandist Sujrsken gives in 
the Acta Sanctorum, Oct. 11, p. 556, and Wadding in the Amuies, I, p. 17. 

* According to Cristofani {StoHa di S, Damiano, Assisi, i88a, pp. 50 et seq.), 
Francis can hardly have made any new additions to the church. Henry Thode, 
on the other hand {"Prang «. Assisi und die Anfdnge der Kunsi der Renaissance,** 
Berlin, 1885, p. 298), thinks that Francis was the builder of the front pointed 


of conclusion to the work Francis wished to leave the priest 
a good supply of oil for the altar lamps, especially for the 
perpetual lamp before the Blessed Sacrament. For this pur- 
pose he went on a roimd through Assisi to beg for oil, and it 
so happened that on this occasion he came to the house of 
an old-time friend, just at the height of a festival. Now at 
last his courage weakened. He who had defied his father and 
had not feared the robbers on Monte Subasio was ashamed 
to be seen by his old companions. Perhaps he had one of 
those indescribable, depressing moments, experienced by all 
converts, when that which has been left behind appears with 
perfect clearness to be one of the natural, right and reason- 
able things, while the new thoughts and the new life suddenly 
present themselves to one as something artificial, acquired, 
stilted — something one would give anything to attain, but 
which it seems useless to strive after. Perhaps the hermit's 
costume, which Francis in general so willingly wore, suddenly 
seemed to him a laughable mummery, and perhaps he seemed 
to himself less of a man than in those days of joy, long passed, 
when he wore the parti-colored costume of the jester. 

If he had been fighting his own fight at this time, it would 
have lasted but a short time. The legend tells us that he 
walked a few steps beyond the house of festivity, but that he 
despised his weakness, turned around and told his friends 
how weak he had been, as he at the same time begged them 
for charity's sake to give him an alms for oil for the lamps 
of St. Damian. 

After he had finished this work, Francis — so as not to be 
idle — undertook a similar one, in repairing the old Bene- 
dictine church of St. Peter, which is now in Assisi, but then 
was outside the walls.^ And finally he began the restoration 

Gothic portion of the buildiDg, while the rear vaulted portion with the apse is 
older. Tbode calls attention to the curious kind of pointed vaulting which 
Francis used not only here in S. Damiano, but also in Portiuncula, in la CkUsina 
m La Vema and in one of the Franciscan retreats near Cortona, and which 
dswehere is only found in the south of France (ditto, p. 296). 

^ "longius a civitate distantem," says Bonaventure (11, 7), who, however, 
only knew Assisi from a short visit there. In reality S. Pietro was very near 
the dty. It is 6rst mentioned, according to Thode (ditto, p. 300), in the year 
1039. The facade dates back to 1268. From 1250 to 1577 it was in the hands 
of the Cistercians, now it is in the hands of the Benedictines again. 


of the little old field-chapel, before which he was one day 
found weeping over the sufferings of Christ ^— Portiuncula, 
alsocalled Santa Maria degli Angdi, ^'OurLady of the Angels." 
Francis chose as his abode for a longer time a spot in the 
vicinity of this little church, which, like San Damiano, belonged 
to the Benedictine convent on Monte Subasio, and was said 
to have been built by pilgrims returning from the Holy Land 
in the year 352. 

There is no doubt that he constantly regarded the restora- 
tion of churches as his real vocation in hfe. Even so late as 
1 2 13 he foimded a church in honor of the Blessed Virgin,^ 
and in 1 216 he filled a not inconsiderable r61e in the renovating 
of Santa Maria del Vescovado in Assisi.^ Like all humble 
souls, he knew that it is of less importance what one does 
than how one does it, and he felt the call to what Verlaine 
many years after called la vie humble aux travaux ennuyeux 
etfaciles — ^^ the humble life of tiresome and easy achievements; 
this life which, precisely on account of monotony and lack of 
great things to be done, exacts so much charity, so great a 
power of seeing God's eternal will back of the whole mass of 
small endless affairs, so as every day to live in the Sunday's 

resUr gai quand le jour, tiiste, succdde au jour, 
^tre fort, et s'uaer en drcongtances viles. . . • 

Francis belonged to the strong and cheerful souls who can do 
this. He saw laid out before him a vista of his future life, 
to be spent in the work of a day-laborer for little or no coarse 
bread; he saw evenings of lonely prayer, the lonely hearing of 
mass in the mornings, and visits to the altar in chapels and 
churches by the wayside and among the mountains. 

For the mass, the liturgical sacrifice in memory of the suffer- 
ings and death of Jesus, was already the central point in 
Francis' religious life. He writes of tiiis, the first year of his 
conversion, in his Testament: ^'Here in the world I see noth- 
ing of the Son of the Highest God but his most holy Body 

' Waddvng in the Annales, 2213, n. 17. 

* LipBin, Compendiosa Bistaria, Assisi, 1756, p. 19, and Falod's studies of the 
ancient inscription on the outside of the ch<Hr of the same church, in Misc. 
Franc,, U, pp. 33-37. 


and Blood, and these most sacred Mysteries I will venerate 
and honor above all things."^ And in one of the oldest of 
his Admoniliones, his ''Admonitions" to Brothers in his 
Order, an accordance is foimd with the above: ''All, who have 
seen Jesus Christ in the flesh, but have not seen him after the 
Spirit and in his Divinity and have not believed that he was 
really the Son of God, are doomed. Also all those are doomed 
who see the sacrament of the Body of Christ, which is con- 
secrated with the words of the Lord on the altar, and by the 
hand of the priest, in the form of bread and wine, but do not 
see it in the Spirit and Divinity and do not believe that it 
reaUy is Our Lord Jesus Christ's most holy Body and Blood."* 

It was not the general custom in the beginning of the thir- 
teenth century for every Catholic priest to say mass daily. 
Only on Sundays or else after a special request and on impor- 
tant holidays was mass celebrated. On all such occasions 
Francis was invariably there at the place, and to please him 
the priest from San Damiano used often in the mornings to 
go down to Portiuncula and hold the divine service in the 
newly restored chapel. 

All who have lived in Italy and have participated in the 
^iritual life of the people can tell by experience of the 
singularly impressive power of these very early divine services. 
Out of the morning's darkness, which perhaps is lessened by 
the Hght of the setting half-moon, or by that of a solitary 
great star, shining far away over the moimtains, one walks 
into the church, where the lights cast their ruddy glow over 
the altar table and the priest in his bright vestments stands 
at the foot of the altar steps, makes the full sign of the Cross 
and solemnly with a low voice begins the prayers of the 
mass with David's wonderful forty-second Psalm. And the 
responses of the acolyte are heard; the holy service goes along 
rapidly; in the deep silence and morning peace of the church 

* Opusctda (Quaracchi, 1904), p. 78. 

*AdMonUio Prima J De Cor pore CkrisU (Quaracchi edition, p. 4). Also 
in Episkla prima (ditto, p. 91): '*We may all truly know that no one can be 
saved except by the blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ and by the sacred words 
of the Lord which the clerk says, " i.e., the words of consecration in the mass. 
See also the saiQe letter, p. 95, where the faith in and the reception of the sacra- 
ment of the altar is simply adduced as characteristic of all the good. 


are heard distinctly the whispered words from the priest's lips: 
'* Hoc est enim corpus meum. . . . Hie est enim calix sanguinis 
mei.*^ . . . And while the altar bell rings over and over again 
there is raised high over the bowed heads of the kneeling con- 
gregation the white Host, the shining Chalice — the Body and 
Blood of Christ offered by the hands of the priest as the 
Lamb of God who bears all the sins of the world. In such 
moments one is lifted on mighty wings above oneself, and one's 
misery and faith make themselves felt, one cares to hope, one 
desires to love God always, to do his will and serve him only, 
and never more to bow down to false gods. 

On such a morning in the little chapel of Portiuncula, one 
day in February, 1209, Francis heard the passage in the gospel, 
which seemed to him a new and clearer message from the Lord, 
still clearer than the words he had heard two years before in 
San Damiano, and which therefore remained effective for the 
rest of his life. It was the feast of the Apostle St. Matthias, 
February 24, on which Francis heard the priest read the 
following passage from the Gospel of St. Matthew (x. 7-13): 
''At that time Jesus said to his disciples. And going, 
preach, saying: The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal 
the sickf raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out devils: 
freely have you received, freely give. Do not possess gold, 
nor silver, nor money, in your purses: nor scrip for your 
journey, nor two coats, nor shoes, nor a staff; for the laborer 
is worthy of his meat. And into whatsoever city or town you 
shall enter, inquire who in it is worthy, and there abide till 
you go thence. And when you come into the house, salute it, 
saying: Peace be to this house. And if that house be worthy, 
your peace shall come upon it; but if it be not worthy, your 
peace shall retiun to you." * 

When Frauds went back in thought to that mass of St. 
Matthew in Portiimcula, he regarded the mere reading of the 
gospel of the day as a divine revelation. We read in his Testa- 
ment: ''The Highest One himself revealed to me that I should 

' The Gospel of St. Matthias' feast has since been changed. In the thir- 
teenth century and as late as the fifteenth the gospd cited in the text was stiO 
read. See AnaUcta Pranciscana, vol III (Quaracchi, 1897), p. 2, n. 5. It is 
Wadding who follows Mariano of Florence in telling that the priest from 
S. Damiano went to Portiuncula and read mass for 


live in accoidance with the holy gospel." And again, ''The 
Lord revealed to me a salutation that we were to say: The 
Lord give thee peace." ^ 

The biographers tell us that after he had listened to these 
words and heard them exhaustively explained by the priest 
he was inspired and exclaimed, '' This is what I want, this is 
what I with all my soul want to follow in my life! "* As if in a 
vision he had understood what the Lord asked of those who 
aspire to be his disciples, who would belong to him completely, 
who would sacrifice themselves for him and serye him alone 
— that they should be Apostles^ that free from all superfluity, 
and without the troubles of the world, they were to go out into 
the world, rejoicing in spirit, bearing the old, serious, jo}rfuI 
message, ''Be you converted, for the kingdom of heaven is 

Francis the church builder and hermit was now to become 
Francis the apostle and evangelist — the announcer of the 
gospel of conversion and peace. He had scarcely left the 
church before he took off his shoes, threw away his staffs 
cast off his outer garment, which he wore against the cold. 
Li place of his belt he tied a rope aroxmd his waist, and clothed 
in a long brown-grey blouse of the kind the peasants of the 
region wore, with a hood attached to go over his head, he was 
prepared to wander through the world on his naked feet, as 
the Apostles had gone, and bring it his Master's peace, if they 
wished to receive it. 

' Opuscula, pp. 79, 80. 

' Cel., F. pr,, I, cap. DC: Tres Socii, VIII, as; Bonav., m, x. 

'"rpgnuin Dd et poenitentiam praedicare, oontinuo ezultans in spiritu 
Dd." Cdano ditto, "pads et poenitentiae legationem amplectens." Trts 
SocH, cap. X, XL 39 (in Bdl.), n. 40 (Foligno edition). 



Pftds et poenitentiae legationem 

Embracing tke embassy cf peac$ 



Tn\RAECO sum magni regis, ''I am the great King's 

A-^ herald!" Thus had Francis that April day, in 1207, 
J^ answered the robbers in the woods of Monte Subasio, 
and he had in that ejaculation given the war-cry and 
motto for all of his future life. 

It was after the mass of St. Matthias in Portiuncula that it 
became dear to him how this career of herald should be carried 
to a conclusion, and now he wasted no time in beginning it. 

From that day on a remarkable sight was to be seen in 
Assisi. Now here, now there in the streets and squares of the 
dty a figure showed itself, dad in a peasant's grey cloak of 
undyed wool, with the hood drawn over the head and a rope 
around the waist. He greeted all whom he met as he went 
along with the words, ''The Lord give you peace!" and 
where he saw a larger crowd assemble, he went to them, stood 
barefoot upon a flight of steps or on a stone and began to 

This remarkable man was the son of Pietro di Bemardone, 
who thus began his work as an evangelist. What he said was 
very simple and without art, — it only concerned one thing, 
namdy, peace as the greatest good for man, peace with God 
by keeping his commandments, peace with man by a right- 
eous conduct, peace with oneself by the testimony of a good 

The laughter which a year before had greeted Francis, when 
he made public entrance into his native dty, was evidently 

» Tres Socii, VIII, 25-26. Ccl., V. pr,, I, cap. X. Bonav., Ill, 2. Julian, 
A. SS.y Oct. II, p. 579, n. 182. Test, S. Ft. (Op., p. 80). Compare P. Hilarin 
Fdder: GtschkhU der wissensck. Studien im Frannskanerorden" Frdb. in 
Br., 2904, p. 8, and pp. 33-37. 



Stilled after the scene in the Bishop's palace. They listened 
to him with attention, even with reverence. And the words 
which he said were not forgotten; they fell like living seed 
into many a receptive mind, into many a heart which with- 
out knowing it longed greatly to live its life nearer to God. 

Thus it was that Francis in a little while found disdples. 
As the first we are told of ^ ''a pious and simple man from 
Assisi," whose name has not been preserved for us, and 
of whom history knows no more. The first disdple known 
to history is therefore Bernard of Quintavalle.* 

Bernard was a merchant like Francis and apparently not 
much older than he. He did not belong to Frauds' circle, 
but followed his wonderful career only at a distance. At the 
outset — like so many — he had only taken Francis' conver- 
sion and church building as a new craze with him. But as 
time went on and Francis continued to persevere in his way 
of Ufe, Bernard's doubt turned into regard and his wondering 
became admiration. 

Bernard certainly had led hitherto a perfectly regular and 
good dvic life. What seized him now was the feeling which 
Sabatier has in one place so beautifully called la nosUUgie 
de la sainkti — homesickness for holiness. The sacred fire 
burst out within his soul — the desire for over-sanctification 
which is the innermost kernel of Christianity, the longing 
to give up the thousand thinp with which the soul vainly 
creates unrest and perturbation for itself, and to seek the 
one thing which satisfies. There ripened in him the deter- 
mination to follow Frauds — to be poor like him, wear his 
habit and live his life. The desire to be satisfied with little, 
a deep, supernatural longing, as well as an insatiability that 
never can get enough, waxed stronger and stronger within him. 
But hitherto he had never talked with Frauds on the subject; 
on the contrary, he found a kindred soul and a confidant in 
one of the canons of the cathedral church of S. Rufino, 

^Celano, V, ^., I, cap. X. 

'Cdano, ditto, Tres Sociij VIII, 27-29. Bonav., Ill, 3. Anon. Penis., 
in A, SS.j Oct. II, pp. 580-581, nn. 187-190. 

Bernard of Bessa is the first, who in his I>e Laudibus b. Prancisd employs 
Bernard's title "of Quintavalle." See the above work in AnaUcta Francis^ 
canat III (Quar., 1897), p. 667. 



^1 ibe SaCTo Sptco, 5u6tai:o 


Pietro dd Cattani, a layman who, in his position of law- 
counsel of the church, enjoyed one of its piebendships.^ 

In later legends it is told how Bernard, before he finally 
enrolled himself under Francis, tried to find out by a trick 
if Frands' piety was true or assumed. He asked Frands a 
number of times to spend the night with him — an invitation 
which he, who at this time could hardly be said to have any 
fixed abode, gladly accepted. One evening, therefore, he asked 
his guest into bis own sleeping chamber, where, after the 
custom in the better class of houses, a light was kept burning 
all night.' 

''But to hide his holiness," thus it is told in the Chronica 
XXIV generalium and in the PiareUij ''St. Francis cast him- 
self on the bed, as soon as he came into the room, and acted as 
if he slept, and after a while Bernard did the same, beginning 
to snore strongly, as if in deep slumber. And St. Frands, 
who believed that Bernard really slept, arose from his bed 
and started to pray, while with eyes and hands raised towards 
heaven, and with great devotion and fervor, he cried out: 
'My God and my All I' And thus he remained praying and 
weeping greatiy until morning, and repeated constantiy: 
'My God and my All!' and said nothing more."* 

That back of this tale there is concealed a real occur- 
rence is dear from Thomas of Cdano's briefer description: 
"[Bernard] saw Frands praying at night, sleeping littie, prais- 
ing God and his Mother, the Blessed Virgin."^ As day 
dawned Bernard determined to follow Frands therefore irrev- 
ocably. He laid before him his wish in the form of a 
question for solution in a case of consdence. 

^ Sflvcster, the eleventh or twelfth disd{>le, was the first priest of the order. 
In Glasberger is found the comment, that Peter of Cattani was *'jurisperitu8 
et canonicus ecdesiae S. Rufini'* (Anal. Franc. ^ II, p. 6). 

* Cel., V. pr.^ I, X. Vita Jr. Bernardi in An4U, Franc., Ill, pp. 35 et seq. It 
says that Francis for two years was regarded as ''stultus et phantasticus," 
and that Bernard invited him to visit him "ut ejus fatuitatem vel sanctitatem 
posset melius explorare." 

Bernard of QuintavaDe's house is the present Palazzo Sbaraglini on the 
Piazza del Vescovado (or of S. Maria Maggiore) in Assisi. 

* FioreUi, cap. 11. Chronica XXIV generalium in Anal, Franc., Ill, p. 36. 
Achu heati Francisci, ed. Sabatier (Paris, 1902), cap» I. 

* Viia prima, I, cap. X. 


^'If some one/' he said, '^had received from his master 
property entrusted to his care, be it much or little> and had 
had possession of it for many years, and now wanted to keep 
it no longer, what woidd be the best way to act in such a case?'' 

''Give it back to him of whom he had received it/' was 
Francis' obvious answer. 

''But, my Brother, the case is this, that all that I own of 
^rthly property I have received from my God and Lord 
Jesus Christ, and now I want to give it back again, as it may 
seem best to you to perform it." 

Then Francis said: 

"What you tell me of, Lord Bernard, is so great and difficult 
a work that we will ask Our Lord Jesus Christ for advice 
about it, and pray him to let us know his will and to teach us 
how we shall bring this intention to execution. We therefore 
next morning will go into the church and read in the Book 
of Gospels, what the Lord told his disdples to do." 

When the time came Pietro dei Cattani seems to have 
reached his decision; in any case the three men went together 
the few paces across the Assisi market-place to the church of 
S. Niccolo, which occupied what is now the site of a barracks 
of carabineers. Here they entered and prayed together, 
whereupon Francis went up to the altar and took the mass- 
book, opened it and found the following words: "If thou 
wilt be perfect, go sell what thou hast, and give to the poor, 
and thou shalt have treasure in heaven."^ Twice more he 
opened the book, and found the first time: "If any man will 
come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, 
and follow me," and the next time: "And he commanded 
them that they should take nothing for the way." 

As Francis closed the book, he turned himself towards the 
two men, and said: 

"Brothers, this is your life and our rule, and not only ours, 
but all theirs who wish to live with us. Go away therefore 
and do that which you have heard!" 

But Bernard of QuintavaUe arrested his steps on the square 
of the church of San Giorgio — now the Piazza S. Chiara — 

^ Matth. ziz. ax. The two next quotations are from Matth. xvi. 24, and 
Mark vi. 3. 


and b^gan to distribute all his property to the poor. And 
Francis stood by his side and praised God in his heart. In 
place of Pietro di Bemardone he had chosen a beggar for a 
father, and now God sent him a far better brother than Angdo. 

While Bernard and Francis thus stood together, and Pietro 
dd Cattani had also gone in search of his possessions, it hap- 
pened that a priest came by, from whom Francis had bought 
stone for the restoration of San Damiano. This priest, whose 
name was Silvester, had sold the stone cheap — perhaps on 
accoimt of the good object it was to be devoted to. When he 
now saw so much money given away, he approached and said 
to Francis: ''The stone which you in your time bought from 
me, you paid for only poorly. " Incensed at the covetousness 
of the priest. Frauds suddenly reached down into the money, 
which Bernard had in the lap of his doak, and without count- 
ing the amount, poured it out into the priest's hand as he 
asked: ''I wonder if jrou are now satisfied. Sir priest?" But 
Silvester thanked him coldly and went away. 

As the legends tell, this occurrence was none the less the 
beginning of a new life for the avaridous priest. He began 
to draw comparisons between his own avarice and the con- 
tempt for property and gold shown by these two yotmg lay- 
men, and the words ''No one can serve two masters" began 
to ring like a judgment in his soul over the life he had 
hitherto led; after a further delay he too had to come to 
Frauds, and beg him to recdve him among the Brethren.^ 

The three brothers and followers of Christ, after all was 
arranged, left Assisi together and spent the night in Portiim- 
cula. Near this church they next erected a hut of boughs 
plastered with mud, where they could find a refuge for the 
night and pray in the daytime. 

It was down here also that a young man from Assisi named 
Giles (in Latin JEgidiuSy in Italian Egidio), eight days after 
Bernard's conversion, sought to join them. Naturally the 
treatment awarded to their possessions by the rich Bernard 
and the accomplished lawyer Pietro had exdted the greatest 
attention in the dty and was the inexhaustible source of 

^ TWf 50m, Vm, aS-DC, 31. PicfM, cap. n. Glassboger, AnaL Framc^ 
n, p. 6, in whkh Benuid's oonvcnioD is dated April z6, ZM9. 


conversation, as well by day on the market-place as by ni^t 
at the fires, where were held veglia. On such an evening 
of gossip before the sparkling fire of juniper branches and 
chestnut embers, which in the cold April evenings were neces- 
sary in Assisi, Giles heard his family talk about Francis and 
his friends.^ 

Next morning Giles rose early, ^'troubled about his salva- 
tion" as the old legends say. It was April 23, the feast 
of the martyr St. George, and the young man betook him- 
self to St. (George's church to hear mass. Thence he took 
the direct road down to Portiuncula, where he knew that 
St. Francis would keep himself. At the hospital of S. Salva- 
tore degli Pareti the road forks, and Giles prayed God that 
he might select the right one. His prayer was heard, for 
after wandering about a while he approached a wood and 
saw Francis coming out of it. Giles at once cast himself at 
the feet of Francis and begged to be received into the Brother- 
hood. But Francis looked at Giles' pious yoimg face, raised 
him up and said: 

"Dearest brother, God has shown you a wonderful favor! 
For if the Emperor were to come to Assisi and wished to make 
one of the citizens his knight or his chamberlain, then would 
the citizen be greatly rejoiced. How much more should you 
rejoice, whom God has diosen as his true knight and servant 
and to maintain the holy evangelical perfection." 

And he took him to the place where the other Brothers were 
keeping themselves and presented him to them with these 
words: "The Lord our God has sent us a new good Brother. 
Let us therefore rejoice in the Lord and eat together in 

But after the meal was ended, Francis and Giles went up to 
Assisi to obtain cloth for the new Brother's habit. On the 
way an old woman met them and asked for alms. Then 
Francis turned around towards Brother Giles and said to 
him, as he looked at him "with an angel's expression": 

" My dearest brother, let us for God's sake give your cloak 
to this poor woman!" 

^ Cum vero fr. Aegidius, adhuc saecularis existens, post VII dies, hoc cognads 
Buis narrantibus audivisset. Vila fr, AegkUi, Anal. Pram., Ill, p. 75. 


And Brother Giles at once took off his beautiful doak and 
gave it to the woman, and it seemed to him — thus he tokl 
it afterwards — that this ahns seemed to ascend to heaven. 
But he himself felt in his heart an inexpressible joy.^ 

There were now four living together in the hut at Portiun- 
cula. In this first year they had little need for a house and 
home, for they spent most of their time in missionary trips. 
What Francis had up to this time done alone, the four did 
together or in couples. Thus Francis associated himself 
with Giles, whom he had quickly learned to love, and whom, 
with an expression borrowed from his reading of romance, he 
called his ''Knight of the Roimd Table,"* and with him 
started on a trip through the near environs — to the Mark of 
Ancona, the region between the Apennines and the Adriatic 
Sea. On his return, Francis had the happiness to receive 
three new disdples, Sabbatino, Morico, and John — the last 
named acquired the title of Capella, ''of the hat," because 
he was the first to wear a hat in violation of the rule of the 
order. All seven started out again, and Frauds now chose 
Rieti in the Sabine Mountains as the goal for his mission. 

In contrast to the regular ecdesiastical eloquence, Francis 
and his friends were to the last degree simple in their preach* 
ing. His sermons had more of the flavor of exhortations than 
of elaborated discourses — they were artless words, which 
came from the heart and went to the heart. His preaching 
always came back to three points: fear God, love God, con- 
vert yourself from bad to good. And when Frauds was 
through. Brother Giles would add: "What he says is truel 
Listen to him and do as he sa3rsl" 

1 VUaff. Aegidiif Anal. Pf,<, III, pp. 74 et seq. Vita difrate Egidio in most 
editions of the PicreUi. VUa heati fratris Aegidii in Doc. Antiq. Franc, pars I: 
Scripta fratis Leonis, ed. Leonardus Lemmens (Quaracchi, 1901). Tres SocH, 
cap. DC, n. 32; XI, 44 in fine. SpecuUimperfectionis,ed.SBbatiei,caip.'XXKVl, 
Celano, Viia primal I, cap. X. Bonaventure, UL 4- ^^ Aegidii in A, SS, 
for April 23; — The date of Giles' (Latin ^Egidius) conversion is given by most 
anthorities and is one of the surest data in Franciscan chronology. See the 
Boikndists as above in the introduction S 3 and AnaUc. Franc,, III, p. 75, n. 3. 
Concerning Brother Giles' Biography as a work of Brother Leo, see Salimbene: 
Chronica (Parma edition), p. 323, ''cujus vitam fr. Leo, qui fuit unus de tribus 
spedalibus sodis beat! Frandsd, suffidenter descripsit." 

* Anal. Franc., Ill, p. 78: " Iste est miles meus tabul« rotundc" 


Wherever they went, their sermons exdted the greatest 
attention in peasant drdes. To some they looked like wild 
animals,* Women ran away when they saw them coming. 
Others would speak to them, asking what order they belonged 
to and whence they came. They answered that they were 
of no order, but were only "men from Assisi, who lived a life 
of penance.''* But if they were penitents, they were not for 
that reason shamefaced — with Francis at their head, who 
sang in French, praised and glorified God for his untiring 
goodness to them. ''They were able to rejoice so much," 
says one of the biographers, ''because they had abandoned 
so much.'' When they wandered in the spring sunshine, free 
as the birds in the sky, through the vineyards of the Mark of 
Ancona, they could only thank the Almighty who had freed 
them from all the snares and deceits which those who love 
the world are subject to and suffer from so sadly.* 

Before sending out his six disciples, Francis had assembled 
them in the forest about him, near Portiuncula, where they 
were wont often to pray.* In his own cheerful yet impressive 
manner he addresscnl them on the subject of the kingdom of 
God, as they were going out to induce men to despise the 
world, to subdue their self-will, to discipline the body. " Go 
out, my beloved ones, and annoimce the gospel of peace and 
conversion ! Be patient in trouble, give to all who insult you 
an humble answer, bless them who persecute you, thank 
those who do you wrong and slander you, because for all this 
your reward shall be great in heaven I And fear not because 
you are unlearned men, for you do not speak by yourselves, 
but the Spirit of your Heavenly Father will speak through 
you ! You will find some men who are true, good and peace- 
ful — they will receive you and your word with gladness! 
Others, and these in great number, you will on the other hand 
find to be revilers of God — they will oppose you and speak 
against you! Be therefore prepared to endure all things 

^ Syivesires homines. Tres Socii, DC, n. 37. Anon. Penis., p. 585a, n. 2xx. 
' " Viri poenitentiales de dvitate Aasisii oriundi." Tres Sociif DC, n. 37. 
* Anon. Perus., p. 582, n. 198. Vila Jr. AegidUy Anal. PranCy III, p. 76. Ber- 
nard a Bessa, ditto, p. 671. 

^ Anon. Penis., p. 584b, n. do8. Compare Anai, Fnmc.^ I, p. 4x8. 


After these words, Frands embraced them one by one, 
''as a mother her children/' blessed them, and gave them as a 
last aliment for the road this extract from the Bible: ''Cast 
thy care upon the Lord, and he shall sustain theel"^ 

Thus the disdples went out into the world, travelling in 
pairs. And when they came to a church or a cross, or merely 
saw a church-tower in the distance, they bowed down in the 
dust and uttered the little prayer which Francis had taught 
them: "We adore thee, O Christ, here and in all thy diurches 
over the whole world, and we bless thee because by thy holy 
Cross thou hast redeemed us!" But if they approached one 
of the small towns, which then as now stood upon the moun- 
tain-tops with circling wall and towers, they directed their 
steps in through the city gates, and when they were come to 
the market-place they stopped and began to sing the song of 
praise which Francis had taught them, and which ran thus: 

" Fear and honor, praise and bless, give thanks and adore 
the Lord God omnipotent in trinity and unity, Father and 
Son and Holy Ghost, Creator of tdl things. Do penance, 
make fruits worthy of penance, for know that you soon will 
die. Give, and it will be given unto you. Forgive, and it 
will be forgiven unto you. And if you will not have forgiven 
men their sins, the Lord will not forgive you your sins. Con- 
fess all your sins. Blessed those who die in penance, for 
they will be in the kingdom of heaven. Woe to those who 
do not die in penance, for they will be the sons of the Devil, 
whose works they do, and will go into eternal fire. Beware 
and abstain from all evil and persevere up to the end in good."* 

The Brothers soon had need of the warning to be patient, 
which Francis had given them for use on their joumeyings. 
Many regarded them as weak-minded, and in the heartless 
way of the times derided them and threw the dirt of the 
street upon them. Others robbed them of their clothing, 
and like good men of the gospel the Brothers made no resist- 
ance, but went their way half-naked. Others seized the 

^ Cdano, V.^fr, I, XII. TresSocHXf 36. Julian, p. 583, n. 204. Bonav., 
in, 7. — Psalms, liv. 23. 

' Reg. I, cap. XXI. "De laude et eadiortatione,qiiam posstint faoere fratxet.'' 
{Oputtmia, pp. 50-51-) 


Brotha:s by the cowls and carried them on their backs as if 
they were meal-sacks. Others came to them with dice, stuck 
them in their hands, and asked them to gamble. Some others 
took them for thieves and wanted to refuse them shelter for 
the night, so that the Brothers often had to sleep in caves, 
cellars or porches of houses or churches.^ 

Together with an associate — the latter, according to 
Thomas of Celano, was Brother Giles — Bernard of Quinta- 
valle went northwards and reached Florence. Here they for a 
long time travelled about the dty, vainly seeking refuge for 
the night; at last they found a porch outside of a house, and 
now they thought that they might rest at last. They knocked 
and got permission from the woman of the house to spend 
the night in the shelter of some wood-sheds that stood 

Scarcely had this been arranged for, when the master of 
the house came home, and started to quarrel with his wife 
about her rather moderate hospitality. She managed to 
padfy him to such an extent that they got permission to 
stay — ''they can steal nothing but a little of the firewood 
down there," she remonstrated with him. But a rug she had 
intended to lend the two wanderers she was not allowed to give 
them, although it was winter time and the night was cold. 

After but a poor sleep, Bernard and his companion left 
their inhospitable host early in the morning, overcome by 
cold and hunger, and betook themselves to the nearest church 
as soon as the bell rang for eight o'clock service. 

Their hostess found herself soon after in the same church, 
and as she saw the Brothers praying so piously, she thought 
to herself: ''If these men had been thieves or robbers they 
would not have been here now and taken so devout a part in 
the divine service." While the woman was occupied with 

^ Tres Socii, TL S7'sg. Cdano, 7. A*'.. I, XV. Vila di fraU Egidio, cap. U: 
''fu chiamato da uno uomo a cui egli and6 pure asaai volentieri, credendo avere 
da lui qualche Umostoa: e disteodendo la mano, ^ puoae in mano un paio di 
dadi, invitandolo se volea giucare. Frate Egidio rispuose molto umilmente: 
Iddio te lo perdoni, figliuolo." Actus, cap. IV: "£t quidam trahebaat capu- 
tium letrop quidam ante, quidam veio pulverem, quidam vero lapides jactabant 
in eum. ... Ad cuncta veto opprobiia (rater Bemardua gaudens et patieos 

Sometimes they sl^t in deserted churches (Anon. Penis., 584, n. azo). 


these thoughts, she saw a man named Guido enter, who every 
morning went to the church to give ahns to the poor beggars 
who gathered together there. On his rounds he came to 
Bernard and his companion, but they refused to take anything. 
Guido, astonished, asked: ''Are you not paupers like the 
others, that you will take nothing?" Bernard answered: 
"Certainly we are paupers, but poverty is no burden to us, 
for in our case it is voluntary, and it is in obedience to the 
will of God that we are poor." Still more astonished, Guido 
asked them other questions, and ascertained that Bernard 
had been a very wealthy man, but had given everything away 
so as to be able without disturbance to preach the gospel of 
peace and conversion. 

At this moment the woman, in front of whose house the 
Brothers had spent the night, joined in the conversation. 
Bernard's refusal of money from Guido had convinced her of 
the utter injustice she had done the two strangers. "Ckris- 
Uanil " she now said, using a mode of address still common in 
Italy. "You Christian men, if you will return to my house, 
I will gladly receive you under my roof I" But when Guido 
now heard how no one the night before had been willing to 
receive them, he at once offered them hospitality, and thank- 
ing the woman who had come to a better state of mind, the 
Brothers accepted the last offer.^ 

As before mentioned, Francis had chosen Rieti as his own 
mission district for this time. From Terni he followed the 
course of the river Velino, which brought him through a whole 
series of larger or smaller towns — Stroncone, Cantalice, 
Poggio Bustone, Grecdo. Everywhere he found — as the 
l^ends tell us — the fear of God and the love of God almost 
vanished, and the way of penitence untrod and despised.* 
The broad way, the way of the world, the way the three evil 
lusts urge men along, were thickly frequented — the lust of 
the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of the world had 
ahnost imlimited sway. To "block the wrong and endless 

' Trts SocUf cap. X. Anon. Penis., p. 585, nn. 212-213. Tliere is reason to 
bdieve that the two Brothers on this trip got as far as the celebrated place 
of pilgrimage S. Jago di Compostefla. Celano, F. pr., I, XII. YitA E^du, 
ASS., Aprfl 23, p. 222. PioreUi, cap. IV. 

' Tns Socii, n. 34. 


way of lust"^ was therefore everywhere the principal task foi 
Frands. At the present time, in the valley of Rieti, the great 
saint's preaching in those early days is regarded as an evangel- 
ization in the proper signification of this word — a conversion 
from heathenism to Christianity.' 

It was while engaged in this work that Francis, according 
to his biographers, was made certain of the forgiveness of his 
sins, the certainty of which may be said to have been abso- 
lutely necessary to carry out the work which he was to do. 

Five hundred metres high in the moimtaui above the town 
of Poggio Bustone and a thousand metres above the plain, 
there is a cave, to which Francis, true to his Assisi habits, 
was wont to betake himself for prayer. Here in the great 
loneliness and dead silence, where only a single bird twittered, 
and a. mountain brook gurgled, Francis knelt long hours 
together on the hard stone under the naked cliff. And if we 
wish to really understand Francis, we must follow him to this 
mountain cave. 

There had been, and was still, the hermit as well as evangel- 
ist and missionary in his make-up, and wherever he has set 
his feet are found these grottoes and caves, these eremi and 
rUiri, to which he was accustomed from time to time to with- 
draw himself. Carceri at Assisi, St. Urbano at Nami, Fonte 
Colombo at Rieti, Monte Casale at Borgo San Sepolcro, 
Celle at Cortona, le Coste at Nottiano, Soteano at Chiusi, 
La Vema in the valley of Casentino, give widespread testimony 
that the spirit which inspired Francis of Assisi was none 
other than that which, in the latest of the olden days, had 
inspired Benedict of Nurcia, and the same which later, in the 
first of the modem days, was to inspire Ignatius of Loyola. 
Francis in Poggio Bustone or by Fonte Colombo is a side 
piece to Benedict in Sagro Speco by Subiaco, to Ignatius 
Loyola in the cave at Manresa. To all of them applies the 
same twofold exhortation: "Pray and work," ora ei labora — 
all three strove in the midst of the industry of Martha to 
have the devotion of Mary. 

^"enoneam et inteRninam cupiditatiB viam." Julian Spder, A. 55., 
Oct. n, p. 583, n. 304. 

* Johannes Jdrgenaen: "PUgrimsbogen,'* p. 141. 


And in the cave at Poggio Bustone, Francis tried to have 
such an hour as that of Mary at the feet of the Crucified One. 
Perhaps he had ahready uttered the prayer which is first 
revealed to us in the later hours of his life, and which in all 
its comprehensive conciseness is given here: ^'Who art thou, 
my dear Lord and God, and who am I, thy miserable worm of 
a servant? My dearest Lord, I want to love thee! My Lord 
and my God, I give thee my heart and my body, and would 
wish, if I only knew how, to do still more for the love of 

In any case there was a double abyss (as Angela of Foligno 
has called it) which in these hours of lonely prayer yawned 
in front of Frands — the Divine Being's abyss of goodness 
and light, and opposed to it his own abyss of sin and darkness. 
For who was he that he dared to be the finger-post for man- 
kind and the master of disdples, he who only a few years agp 
had been a child of the world among children of the world, a 
sinner among sinners? Who was he who dared to preach 
to others, to warn others, to guide others — he who was not 
worthy to take the holy and pure name of Jesus Christ into 
his impure mortal mouth? Then he thought of what he had 
been, of what he yet might be if God did not stand by hii9, 
for that danger was always within his nature — when he 
thought next of what others thought of him, some who hon- 
ored him, some who followed him, some who hated him, it 
was then he knew not where to hide himself for very shame, 
and the words of the Apostle rang in his ears: "Lest per- 
haps, when I have preached to others, I myself should 
become a castaway." 

Thus humility raged in his soul like a Uon that leaves 
nothing of his prey, but grinds the bones for the marrow. 
And all torn asunder, all annihilated, Francis cast himself 
on his face before God, the God who had made heaven and 
earth, the God who is all truth and all holiness, and before 
whose omnipotence nothing can stand without complete 
truth, complete holiness. Frands looked into the depths of 
his being, and he saw that on the whole earth there was not 
to be found a more usdess creature, a greater sinner, a soul 
more lost and fallen to the bad than himself, and from the 


depths of his need he groaned before God: ''Lord, be merciful 
to me a poor sinner!" 

And it came to pass that the empty cave over Poggio 
Bustone beheld a miracle, one that always happens when a 
soul in complete distrust of itself calls out to its Gkxi in confi- 
dence and hope and charity — then there comes to pass the 
great miracle of jusUficaUan. "I fear everything from my 
badness, but from thy goodness I also hope for all," this was 
the innermost meaning of the prayer Francis sent up to God. 
And the answer came, as it always comes — ''Fear not, my 
son, thy sins are forgiven thee!" 

From this hour Francis was fully armed for the things that 
awaited him — he was drawn into the heart of Christianity. 
Because he had abandoned everything, he was to win every- 
thing. For not only had he given up father and mother, house 
and home, property and money, but what means more than 
all dse, if God was to belong to him and he to God — he 
had given up kimsdf. All his righteousness from now on 
was that which the Apostle says is given by Christ to the 
faithful — and his life in holiness breathed out this righteous- 
ness. Therefore it is true, with a deeper truth than that of 
history, what the FiareUi relates in the tenth chapter: 

''But one day Brother Masseo from Marignano said to 
St. Francis: 'I wonder why the whole world runs after thee 
more than after others, and all men want to see thee and hear 
thee and obey thee? Thou art not fair of body, thou art 
not deeply learned, thou art not of noble birth — why does 
the whole world run after thee?' 

"When St. Francis heard this he rejoiced in his soul and 
turned his eyes to heaven, and stood a long time thus, with 
soul lifted up to God; and when he came to himself he kneeled 
down and gave thanks and praise to God, and turned to 
Brother Masseo and said to him with great spiritual power: 
'Do you wish to know why this happens to me? Do you 
wish to know why the whole world runs after me? For I 
knew that thing from the all-seeing God, whose eyes see the 
good and the bad over all the earth. For these most holy 
eyes have nowhere seen a greater, more miserable, poorer 
sinner than I; because in all the earth he has found no more 


wretched being to do his wonderful work, which he wishes to 
have done, therefore he has chosen me, so as thus to put to 
shame the noble, the great, strength and beauty, worldly 
wisdom, that all may know that all power and all virtue 
come from him and not from creatures, and that no one can 
exalt himself before his face; but he who praises himself, 
let him praise himself in the Lord, for his is the honor and the 
power for ever and ever." * 

' Pioretti, cap. X. Actus b. Frattcisci capp. IX-X. Cdano, Viia prima, I, 
cap. XI. Julian, A. SS,, Oct. 11, p. 583, n. 203: ("usque ad quadrantem 
novissimam remissioiiis debit! culpanim certitudo," — a version not found In 
the other biographies. Bonaventure, in, 6. Wadding, 1209, n. 24, with the 
following parallel from St. Bridget's RevehUimes (VII, 20): [Frandscus] "ob- 
dnuit veram contritionem omnium peccatorum suorum et perfectam volunta- 
tern se emendandi dicens: Nihil est in hoc mundo, quod non volo libenter 
dimittere propter amorem et honorem Domini mei Jesu Christ!; nihil est etiam 
tam durum in hac vita, quod non volo gratanter sustinere propter ejus caritatem, 
ladendo propter ejus honorem omnia quae ego potero juzta meas vires corporis 
et animae; et omnes alios quoscxmique potero, volo ad hoc inducere et roborare, 
nt Deum super onmia difigant toto corde." 

We see with what clearness the forgiveness of sins is defined by the Swedish 
saint as synonymous with the beginning of a new life, the acceptation of a perfect 
will to do good, Inspkaiio amoris. A complete description of Poggio Bustone 
is given in my (the author's) PUgrimsbogmt cap. XUI. 


FRANCIS found himself one day in Bishop Guido's 
private room. As was customary with him, he had 
gone to the man he regarded as "the father of souls'' ' 
to get advice — perhaps also to pray for alms. It was 
a period of hard times for the Brotherhood. After the return 
from the mission journeys, four new Brothers had joined the 
ranks — Philipp Lungo, John of San Costanzo, Barbarus, 
and Bernard of Vigilanzio. Francis himself had brought a 
fifth new Brother with him from Rieti — Angelo Tancredi, 
a young knight whom Francis had met in the streets of 
Rieti, and whom he had won by suddenly calling out to him: 
''Long enough hast thou borne the belt, the sword and the 
spurs! The time has now come for you to change the belt 
for a rope, the sword for the Cross of Jesus Christ, the spurs 
for the dust and dirt of the road! Follow me and I will make 
you a knight in the army of Christ!"^ 

Thus it was that there were no longer so few men to have 
food daily. In the beginning the people of Assisi had been 
seized with a kind of wonder, and the Brothers had got con- 
siderable alms as they went from door to door. Now people 
began to grow weary of them; now the relatives of the 
Brothers were ready to persecute them. "You have given 
away what you had, and now you come and want to eat up 
other people's things!" 

As their number increased they went from the hut at 
Portiuncula to a tumble-down outhouse or shed some twenty 

* Tres Socii, VI, 19: "pater et dominus animarum." 

* Wadding, AnnaleSy T. I., p. 80 (xaxo). The narration was first found in the 
rather unreliable work, Actus b, Prancisci in vatte Reatina. Compare A, SS^ 
Oct. n, p. 589, n. 231. 



minutes distant, in a place which because of its vicinity to a 
bend in a little stream was called Rioo Tarto (crooked stream). 
Here the Crudgers from S. Salvatore delle Pareti owned a 
few small buildings, and as one of the newly accepted Fran- 
ciscans had been a member of this order, it is reasonable to 
suppose that Francis by his intercession had obtained the 
right to use this new abode.^ 

This shed or Ugurium at Rivo Torto was so small that 
Francis had to write on the beams the name of each Brother 
over his place, so as to avoid all disorder or confusion.* There 
was no church or chapel there; the Brothers prayed before a 
large wooden cross which was erected in front of the shed.* 
Francis for his part had nothing against so great poverty. 
He really liked Rivo Torto, because by following the course 
of the river he could easily reach some caves on Monte Suba- 
sio, where it was good to pray, and which Francis because 
of their narrowness called his ''prisons" (careen). 

All this ezdted much talk in Assisi, as was to be expected, 
and the Bishop showed good judgment. He tried by gentle- 
ness to draw Frauds away from the ideas which to the 
prelate of the chmrch seemed extravagant. Little was the 
amount which the Brothers permitted themsdves to own, 
but he only allowed himself so much as was needed to ensure 
his daily bread. To the Bishop, as to all men living an ordi- 
nary life, the begging was particularly repulsive. 

But Francis was immovable in this point. Just as Tolstoy 
has dearly seen it in the nineteenth century, so he saw what 
a hindrance is removed from the way when money and pos- 
sessions are given up. ''Lord Bishop," he therefore replied, 

' BonavcDture tells (IV, 8) that Morico had long lain dangerously sick in 
S. Salvatore delle Pareti, and that Frands healed him by sending him a piece 
of bread dipped in ofl of the lamp which burned before the altar of Our Lady in 
Portioncula. From gratitude Morico foUowed Francis thereafter and dis- 
tinguished himself by extreme penances (he lived on raw green vegetables for 
years, never tasted bread nor wine, etc.)* — There are still two smaU chapels 
ronahiiDg d the oti^nai Rivo Torto: 8. Rufino d'Aroe and S. Maria Madda^ 
lena, nearer to Portiuncula than the large Frandscan church erected later, 
which now has the old name. See Lo SpeccMo di ptffetume (Assisi, 1889), p. 
30| n> o. 

* Tres Soeii, Xm, 53. Celano, F. pr., I, cap. XVI. 

• Booav., IV, 3. 


"if we had possessions we should have to have weapons with 
which to defend them. For from property comes strife with 
our neighbors and relatives, so that charity to God and to 
men suffers many a scar, and in order to preserve it whole 
and unimpaired, it is our firm determination to own nothing 
in this world."* 

The Bishop, who himself was not dear of property dis- 
putes, for he was involved in a stiit with both the Crudgers 
and with the Benedictines on Monte Subasio,^ bowed his 
head and was silent. Even if he could not mount to the 
height of such an ideal, he did not dare to hinder or restrain 
them in carrying it out. 

Moreover, b^ging was not the only or even prindpal 
resource of the Brothers. Francis himself says in his Testa- 
ment about these early times: 

"And after the Lord had given me Brothers, no one showed 
me what I was to do. But the Highest revealed to me that 
I was to live after the holy gospd. . . . And they who 
came to me and accepted this way of life gave all they pos- 
sessed to the poor, and were satisfied with a tunic, patched 
both inside and outside if they wished it, and a rope and 
breeches. And we wanted nothing more. 

"We said the Office, those of us who were derks, like other 
derks, but the lay-people said the 'Our Father,' and we liked 
to be in the churches. And we were simple (idiotae) and 
subject to all men. And I worked with my hands, and more- 
over wanted to work, and I desired that all the other Brothers 
should be occupied with honorable work. And those who 
could do no work must learn it, not for the desire of remunera- 
tion, but to give good example and not to be lazy. And if 
they will not give us pay for our work, we must have recourse 
to the table which the Lord has spread, as we go from door to 
door and beg for alms." ' 

We have in these few words from Frauds' own hand the 
entire progranmie of the life they led at Portitmcula and in 

» Tres Socii, DC, 35. 

' See Opera Honorii III, ed. Horoy, 1. 1, cxA. 200 and ool. 163, and Potthast's 
Regesia, Nr. 7746 and Nr. 7728. Sabatier, F«c, p. 92, n. z. 
* Opuscida, p. 79. 


the shed at Rivo Torto. What Frands desired was what 
Jesus of Nazareth desired — that mea shoidd own as little as 
possible, that they should work with their hands for their 
food, and ask others for help when work failed them, that 
they should not give themselves unnecessary troubles and lay 
up superfluous possessions, that they should keep themselves 
free as birds and not let themselves be caught in the snares 
of the world, that they should go through life with thanks 
to God for his gifts and with songs of praise for the beauty 
of his works. ''like strangers and like pilgrims," these words 
of an Apostle retium over and over again to the mouth of 
Frands, when he wants to express his ideal. ''He wished," 
says one of his biographers, "that all things should sing 
pilgrimage and mfe." ^ 

The following by-laws and admonitions in the first Rule 
which Francis wrote for the Brothers are in accord with this: 

" No Brother who works or serves in another's house can be 
treasurer or secretary or have any authoritative position . . . 
but they must be lowly {HfU minores) and subject to all in the 
house. And the Brothers who can do one kind of work 
should work and practise the art they have learnt, if it does 
not interfere with their soul's salvation or is not di^onorable. 
. . . For the Apostle says: 'If any man will not work, 
ndther let him eat!' and: 'Let every man abide in the same 
calling in which he was calledl' 

"And they can recdve for their work whatever is neces- 
sary, but not money. And should that be needed, they must 
go out begging like the other Brothers. And they have 
pennission to own tools and utensQs which they need . . . 
(cap. VII). 

"The Lord teaches us in the gospd: 'Watch ye, that your 
hearts be not troubled with avarice and with care for your 
nourishment!' Therefore none of the Brothers, wherever 
he may go, and wherever he may be, may recdve in any way 
or permit money to be recdved, dther for dothing or for 

^"Non acHma domonim anogantiam odiebat homo iste, verum domorum 
itffmiinia nralta et exquistta plurimum perhorrebat. Nihfl in meiuis, nihil 
m vasis, quo mundi reooidaietur, amabat, ut omnia peregrinadonem, omnia 
cantannt ezilium.'^ Thomas of Cdano, Visa secunda, p. Ill, cap. VI. 


books or as wages for work, or for any other reason, ezcqit 
when a Brother is sick and calls for help. For we ouj^t not 
to care for or to look on money as of more worth than a stone. 
. . . Let us therefore beware lest we, who have abandoned 
all, shall lose heaven for so small a thing. And if we find 
money anjrwhere, let us not then be more concerned about 
it than if it was dust that we tread in. . . . Yet the Broth- 
ers if the lepers are in need can collect money for them, but 
must be greatly on their guard against money (cap. VIII). 

''All Brothers must try to follow our Lord Jesus Christ's 
humility and poverty, and remember the Apostle's words, 
that, when we have food and clothes, we should be content 
with them. And the Brothers should rejoice when they are 
among humble and despised people, among poor and weak- 
lings, sick and lepers and beggars on the road. And if it is 
necessary, they may go and beg for alms. And they should 
not be ashamed, but remember that Our Lord Jesus Christ, 
the Son of the living Almighty God, made his face as hard as 
stone and was not ashamed; and he was poor and a stranger 
and lived on alms, both he and the Blessed Virgin and his 
disciples. And when men cause shame to the Brothers and 
will not give them ahns, then they shall thank God therefor 
. . . and they shall know that the shame is not counted 
against them who suffer it, but against them who inflict it. 
For alms are an inheritance and a piece of justice which is 
due to the poor, and whicl^Oiu: Lord Jesus Christ has levied 
upon us" ^ (cap. X). 

With these and similar words Frands has certainly often 
enough inspired his friends to persevere in the severe life of 
poverty. Soon they were giving their services in the hospitals, 
soon helping the peasants with the harvest in the fields, and 
never was their recompense other than their daily bread and 
a drink of water with it from the spring.' 

> Opuscula, pp. 33-39- 

'"Diebus vero manibus propriis quod noverant labonbaiit, eiistentes in 
domibus leprosonim, vd in aliis kxais honestis, servientes omnibus humiliter 
et devote. Nullum offidum exercere volebant, de quo poaset flcandaiUm 
ezoriri, fled semper sancta et juzta open honesta et utilia." Tliese ivoids d 
Celano (F. pr*, I, XV) dqnct the activities corwyonding to the Rule. Gompaie 
Barth. of Pisa's ConformUatts (Milan, 1513), f. 25b: ''ut aerviant sumina com 


It often happened that there was no work to be had, and 
in Assisi, as we have said, all doors were dosed in the faces 
of the Brothers. Then it was that hope could hardly be sus- 
tained, and it may well be believed that discontent and de- 
spair were sometimes on the point of overcoming the poor 
^Tenitents from Assisi" in their shed at Rivo Torto. On 
dark and rainy days, when the water drove in through the 
leaky roof of the building and the earth was black and miry 
and cold for the bare feet to tread upon, and they sat there 
in their coarse, ragged gowns, seven or eight in number, and 
had got nothing to eat all day, and did not know if the Broth- 
ers who had gone out to b^ would bring anything home, and 
there was no fire to warm them^ and no books to read. . . . 
In those days of rain, in those dark, cold hours, during the 
short but raw and uncomfortable winter of Umbria, did it 
not perforce occur to one or another of them that it was all 
foolishness, and that the best thing to do was to turn the back 
on the dark hole and its crazy inhabitants, to go back to 
the dty — to the dty where one had, alas! once owned a 
house and garden, money and goods, which foolishly had 
been cast aside and given to the poor? There must surely 
have been some such moments, when more than one of the 
Brothers fdt the spirit of penance weaken. And yet we hear 
of only one falling away among the first disdples — John of 
Capella. All the others held fast and persevered, even if 
they, as the legends tell us, often had to eat roots instead of 
bread.^ They persevered and they conquered. 

For the public opinion which had long been opposed to 
them b^gan to reverse itself, little by little. The inflexible 

dOigentia suo ezemplo leprosis et hoxribilibus. £t sic fratribus mandabat 
fltatim ordiiiem ingressis, ut in tafibus obsequiis Deo studerent placere." 

Tbe FiordH has several tales of the Brothers' care of the sick and lepers, 
such as cap. IV, cap. XXV, cap. XLII. A tale which is preserved in Chronica 
XXIV generaUum shows us that the Brothers sometimes oould be discontented 
with Fiands: ''qui fiatres hinc inde transmittendo per hospitia leprosorum fre- 
^^Mnter ab orationis studio distrahebat" (Anal. Pranc.^ Ill, p. 4S). See also 
Eodcston'sChionicle {Anal. Franc., I, p. 249): "dixit autem (fr. AJgneUus), quod 
cum esset cum sancto Frandsoo in quodam hospitaU commorans" and Bishop 
Tlieobald of Assisi's letter on the Portiuncula indulgence, A, SS,^ Oct 11, 
pL 880, n. 6. 

^ Tr§s Socuy cap. Xni, n. 55. Cdano, V. pr., I, XVI. 


perseverance of the Brothers aroused wonder, thdr pious 
way of life won approval. Wayfarers who passed by the 
sh^ at Rivo Torto heard the Bi'others' voices in prayer by 
night. By day they were seen going to the hospital or work- 
ing elsewhere, wherever they could get anything to do.^ In 
spite of their poverty they always had something to spare for 
anyone who asked it, and if there was nothing else, they 
would give the hood o£F of their cloak or one of the sleeves. 
They showed no concern about money; a man once laid a 
considerable sum of money on the altar in the chapel in 
Portiuncula, but soon after found his mammon l3ang in a 
heap of dirt upon the highway. 

Especially was it to be seen how they loved each other. 
Two of them once, while on a journey, were attacked by a 
wandering imbecile who had started to throw a stone at 
them. And they saw the Brothers shifting places constantly, 
because each wanted to be upon the side the stone came from, 
so as to protect his companion with his body. If it happened 
that one of the Brothers by a thoughtless or hasty word had 
hurt the feelings of one of the others, he allowed himself 
neither rest nor quiet until he had made peace with his Brother, 
and, at the behest of the offender, the offended one would 
have to put his foot on the mouth out of which an unchari- 
table word had issued. Never was impolite or even super- 
fluous and worldly conversation heard among them, and if 
they passed by women on their way, they did not look upon 
them, but fastened their eyes on the dust with their hearts 
in heaven.* 

That they did not seek after this world's vanity and noth- 
ingness is to be seen on an occasion when Otto of Brunswick 
went through the valley of Spoleto, in September, 1209, on 
his way to Rome to be crowned Emperor by Pope Innocent. 

^"ut non starent otioei, juvabant pauperes homines in agris eonim, et 
postea ipsi dabant dsdem de pane amore Dei" (Spec, Perf,, cap. IN). 

' Tres Socii, cap. XI. Anon. Penis., in A. SS., Oct. II, pp. 587^588, nn. 
224-225. Celano, VUa prima, I, cap. XV. Compare PioreUi, cap. Ill: " Cbme 
per mala cogitazione che santo Francesco ebbe contro a frate Bernardo, comandd 
al detto frate Bernardo, che tre volte gli andaase co' piedi in suUa gola e in sulla 
bocca." Still more severe was the pmiishment for uncharitable conversa* 
tion to which Brother Barbarus condemned himself (2 Cel., Ill, 92). 


The populace gathered from Assisi, Bettona, Spello, Isola 
Romana and all the other towns and villages of the mountain 
and plain, to see the gorgeous retinue. Only the Brothers 
from Rivo Torto were absent — with the exception of one 
who was sent by Francis to go and meet the Emperor Otto 
and say to him that the honors of this world are transitory 
and not to be regarded, — a saying whose truthfulness 
was soon to be shown in the very case of the Emperor 

Meanwhile Francis had decided to go to Rome. In the 
solitude at Rivo Torto he had, as he tells in his Testament, 
"with few and simple words, " written or had written the Rules 
of life, which he and the Brothers followed in their lives.' 
His present desire was to have this Rule, or forma vUae, as he 
used to call it, ratified by the highest authority of the Church. 
There was no need of this visit; it was the Fourth Lateran 
Council of 1 2 15 which first made such ratification a re- 
quirement for the founding of a commimity in the Catholic 
Church. A custom which was not older than Valdes 
was now beginning, in virtue of which laymen used to seek 
permission from the Papal throne to participate in preaching, 
hitherto reserved for bishops and parish priests. Valdes had 
obtained such a permission, but with a strict command to be 
subject to the local chiurchmen. A similar pi)ermission had 
been given in 1201 to the Humiliates, and in 1207 to Durand 

* Many modem biographers, on account of the sequence of events, as given 
in Thomas of Celano, have been led to believe that the occurrence with the 
Emperor Otto properly belongs afUr the journey of Francis and the Brothers 
to Rome and after the Pope's approval of the Rule of the Order, which they 
place accordingly in 1209. It was April 33, 1209, when Giles visited Francis, 
and oonsequently the two missionary trips (to the Marches and to Rieti, in- 
cluding Florence) oxne after this time. These journeys undoubtedly took 
several months, but Innocent III left Rome late in May, 1209, and went to 
^terbo, whence he did not return until October for the crowning of Otto. 
The Brothers' visit to Rome must have occurred after this date, and belongs 
probably in the summer of 12x0. See Anal, Franc., in, p. 5, n. 8; Wadding: 
AnnaUsj 12x0; Sabatier: Vie, p. xoo, n. x; HergenrSther: ** KtrchengesckkkUy* 

I, p. 797- 

* "ego pauds verbis et simplidter fed scribi; et dc»ninus papa oonfirmavit 

mihL" Opusenia, p. 79. Compare CeL, V. pr., I, Xm. Ckron. XXIV gen., 
m Anal. Prasic., Ill, p. 6: "quandam regulam scripsit, ubi pene onmia mandata, 
quae Chzistus dedit apostolis, insendt et omnes professores ejusdem, tarn prae- 
tatos qiiam subditos, nominibus evangelids nuncupavit." 


of Huesca and his Catholic Valdenses.^ Francis had reason to 
hope that Innocent would be accessible to his wishes also. 

But Francis' devotion to the Apostles had drawn him to 
Rome with special power, to the grave of the Apostles and of 
their successors. The Apostles were Frands' model; all his 
thoughts went in the direction of the restoration of the apos- 
tolic life, as he saw it in the Gospels. It was "after the rule 
of life of the Apostles" that all property of the Brothers should 
be for the common use. "It was thus in the Apostolic 
Church/' was an argument to which Francis always sub- 
mitted himself.* The later legends tell of Peter and Paul 
showing themselves to Frands in the church of St. Peter as 
he was praying, and assuring him of the possession of "the 
perfect kingdom of the most holy poverty." ' 

One day in the summer of 1210, the little troop of penitents 
started from Rivo Torto, and took their way to Rome. Little 
is told us of their journey, except Ifaat Bernard of Quintavalle 
was sometimes their leader instead of Francis. Him they 
all obeyed, as they shortened the way with prayer, song and 
conversation. The Lord, says the legend, prepared rest- 
ing places for them everywhere and never left them unpro- 
vided for.* 

On their arrival in Rome, Bishc^ Guido of Assisi was the 
first to whom they presented themselves, who at this time, 
perhaps not without previous communication with Frands, 
was present in the Eternal City. The Bishop presented the 
Brothers to a friend of his among the Cardinals — John of 
St. Paul • — and the way to the Pope was made easy for them. 
Later stories tell us that Francis first tried to reach the Pope 
by his own efforts, but failed. What is historically certain 

^Hilarin Felder: "Gesch. der Studien im Prafu, Orden" (Freiburg, 1904)1 
S. 40-41. Achille Lucfaaire: Innocent III; Us Albigeais (Paris, 1905), pp. 

* Tres Socii, n. 43. Anon. Penis., p. 587, n. 223. — It was Francis who, in 
the Roman Breviary, instead of the usual invocation of ''all the Apostles,*' 
had introduced a !^>ecial invocation of the two Roman Apostles Peter and 
PauL See Bernard of Bessa (Anal, Franc.f m, p. 672). 

* FiareUi, cap. XIII. Wadding, I, p. 3a Compare Bonaventuie, II, 7. 

* Tres SoeU, XH, 46. 

* John of St Paid, of the noble Roman family of Cokmna, made cardinal by 
Cdestin III and named as Sabine bishop by Innocent (Wadding, xazo, n. 7). 


is only this much, that Cardinal John, after the Brothers 
had lived with him a few days, undertook to speak to the 
Pope about them. The Pope was Innocent lU.^ 

An injustice is perpetrated if we, like Sabatier, reproach 
Cardinal John, because he in his capacity of representative 
of the Curia utilized the time Francis and the Brothers 
stayed with him, to investigate their intentions and prospects. 
The period was actually very critical for the Church, and 
the greatest foresight was a duty for its pilot. 

It is with a very poor comprehension of the Middle Ages that 
anyone speaks of ^' the powerful Church of the Middle Ages,'' 
and especially is this idea faulty when the period is that of 
Innocent III. In fact the centuries of the Refonnation and 
the Revolutionary days were scarcely more anti-Papal or more 
opposed to the Church than the epoch we speak of — about 
the year 1200. No one would in our days permit Pius X 
to be treated as Innocent III was treated more than once. 
He tells himself how, on Holy Thursday, April 8, 1203, ^^ 
the way from St. Peter's to the Lateran, in spite of the Papal 
crown which he wore upon his head, he was insulted by the 

* Not only Francis but also many others of the Brothers knew the Bishop 
of Aasisi, Guido. This is said explicitly in Leg. trium soc., n. 47: '"ipse affec- 
tabat videre virum Dei et aliquos de fratribns suis." Sabatier has not been 
wining to accept this and similar testimony (Celano, V. pr., I, XIII: ''omnes 
fratres in omnibus honorabat et spedali venerabatur dilectione")* It certainly 
foflows from Celano's biography that Guido did not know the cause of ^e 
Brothers' Roman journey (causam nesdens). But this does not exclude the 
possibility of a conference between him and Francis; certainly in any case 
the Bish<^ would not willingly have thought of the Brothers intending to leave 
Umbria ("timebat enim, ne patriam propriam vellent deserere . . . gaudebat 
plurimum tantos viros in suo episcopatu habere'')* It appears to be a pre- 
oonception, when Sabatier {yie, p. 108) accuses Guido of only taking a luke- 
warm interest in Francis and his cause. Also from Spec. per}, (ed. Sab.)) cap. 
X, it is dear that a good understanding existed between Guido and Francis. 

The place in Bona venture's legend (III, 9), in which it is told that Inno- 
cent first turned Francis away with disdain, and was converted by a dream and 
sent the next morning a messenger after him, when he was found in St. Anthony's 
Hospital near the Lateran, is due to Jerome of Ascoli, General of the Francis- 
can Order from 1274 to 1279, ^^^ \a^xx Pope under the name of Nicholas IV. 
In Wad<fing (1210, n. 8) a certain nephew of Innocent, Richard Hannibal de 
Molaria, Cardinal of S. Angelo in foro pisdum, about 1274, is the authority 
for this story. This nephew should have had the story from Innocent himself. 
Compare A. SS., Oct. II, p. 591, and Chronica XXIV generalium in Anolec, 
Pranc.f III, p. 365. The passage in question exists in many manuscripts. A 
finiilar but much eqMnded lelatioD is found in Matthew of Paxis. 


Roman people with so offensive a word that he would not 
repeat it. 

As early as 1188 the same Roman people had anticipated 
the Frendi terrorists and abolished the Christian reckoning 
of time; they had established in its place a new era based 
on the restoration of the Roman senate in 1143. Time after 
time was Innocent chased out of Rome; the tower he and 
his brother had built for themselves as a secure refuge, and 
whose imposing remains still bear Innocent's family name 
{Torre dei CotUi), was taken from him by the Romans and was 
declared communal property. From May to October, 1204, 
the Pope had to be a helpless witness of the devastation of 
Rome by his enemies of the Capocd party. 

And in the small remains of power which the Hohen- 
staufens had left to the see of reter, the power and authority' 
of Innocent was also small. For to free themselves from 
the temporal domain of the Pope, men on all sides withdrew 
from his spiritual supremacy and broke away from the unity 
of the Church. In Orvieto such an independent faction chose 
an Albigensian for leader, and killed the podestd, Pietro 
Paranzi, sent to them by the Pope. Viterbo, in the face of 
the prohibition and threats of the Pope, had chosen open 
heretics as consuls. Interdict and ban were without effect 
on the rebellious populace; Nami, that against the Pope's 
ban had laid waste the little community of Otricoli, situated 
near it, lived untroubled for five years under excommimica- 
tion. The republic of Orvieto, likewise in cold blood, over- 
rode the Papal command when their army pltmdered and 
burnt the neighboring town of Acquapendente. In Sardinia 
the priests and even the Bishops were so inimical to the Pope 
that his legate, Blasio, in the year 1202, literally did not know 
whence he could procure food there. Eventually the Ghibel- 
line Pisa took the island from the Pope. Even when Inno- 
cent won a victory over his opponents, the fruits of the 
victory were taken from him. Thus when Conrad of Irslingen 
had gone to Nami to make over the imperial castle in Assist 
to the Pope, the inhabitants of Assisi destroyed the castle 
before the Pope could take it in possession. So far from 
punishing Assbi for this violence, Innocent did not dare to 


enter the dty, when he passed near it, as he visited Perugia 
and Spoleto on his journey of homage through Umbria.^ 

Innocent Ill's era was thuis in full rebellion against the 
Papal authority, and this rebellion was, just as in later cen- 
turies, at the one time religious and political. We seem 
to see Puritans, Independents, Qluminati, Rosicrudans, 
Freemasons shadowed forth in the more or less politically 
tinted sects with which the time was crowded. The churdi 
historians reckon whole ranks of sect-creators and heresiarchs 
in this century, — from the rigorous Peter Valdes and his 
"Poor Men from Lyons," to shameless pantheists like David 
of Dinant and Ortlieb of Strassburgh, Neo-Manichees hke 
the Albigenses, Satanists like the familiae amariSj which 
celebrated the black mass even in Rome.* 

The most dangerous of all these sects were the Albigenses. 
In the year 1200 they were to be foimd scattered all over 
Europe — from Rome to London, from the Black Sea to 
Spain, but tspedaJHy along the lower Danube, in northern 
Italy and southern France, and in places along the Rhine. 
They bore different names in different countries: on the 
lower Danube Bulgari, Bugri, Publicans; in Lombardy Para* 
tenes, Gazarenes; in southern France Cathari or Albigenses 
(after the dty Albi in Languedoc). Everywhere they held 
the same doctrine, and this was a reiteration of the dualism 
of the Manichees. By way of the Bogomili and Paula- 
dans of Bulgaria, they descended directly from the adherents 
of Mani. 

The Albigensian theory of the universe rested on the old 
heathen doctrine of two gods — a good one who had created 
souls, a bad one who had created the material world. It was 
ther^ore essential, they taught, to hold aloof from all that 
is material — in theory they cast aside marriage, family life, 
all that coidd not be considered purely spiritual. The name 
they themselves adopted Cathari or ''the pm-e," indicates 
this. To preserve this purity the most zealous among them 
starved themselves to death. In practice, marriage was 

* See in this oonnectton Achille Luchaire: Ifmount III; Rome et PIUUU 
(Puis, 1905). 

'Wadding, I (i73x)» PP« 3r4» 


permitted for the great mass of the Cathari, and often the 
severe denial broke loose into unbridled sensuality — as with 
the German Ludferians. 

The Cathari were therefore, with their entire philosophy 
as well as with their practice, bom enemies of the Catholic 
Church. The war which the Chtuxdi now took up, and which 
on the part of Rome was carried' on as long as possible with 
spiritual weapons,^ was therefore a fight for one of the most 
valued possessions of Christian culture — for theological 
monism. The unity of God — this was the truth for which the 
Church fought and which it saved by fighting. There is a 
bottomless abjrss between the Manichees, for whom life is 
impure and unholy, and for whom nature is a work of a devil, 
a bad and detestable crime of the ^^Life-desire," and the Chris- 
tian, who in matter sees a piure and holy work from the hands 
of an all-loving Creator, and only stained by the miserable 
crimes of little man. Rome had to decide on which sTde of 
this ab3rss Francis and his Brothers stood — if their strange 
asceticism was a product of the pride of the Cathari or of 
evangelic Christianity. That they came from Assisi could 
well awaken a su^idon; for among the commtmities where 
the Cathari had acquired political power, it was precisely 
this little dty which in 1203 had chosen an Albigensian for 

In Frauds, it was to be feared, mi^t be found a man of the 
same character as Peter Valdes, whose ideal had also been 
evangelical poverty. The well-known Lyonnese had in 11 79 
obtained permission from Alexander III to preach in public 
the conversion of sinners, and to live in apostolic poverty. 
Already in 1184 Ludus in had placed Valdes and his fol- 
lowers under the ban as rebels against the functions of the 
Church, and as renewers of Donatism. Only a few of the 
Valdensians were preserved as adherents to the unity of 
the Church, by the Spaniard, Durand of Huesca. 

It took only a short time to convince Cardinal John that 
Frauds and his friends were ndther the one nor the other of 
these two sectaries. 

^ Consult in this matter AdiiDe Luduure: /mmcmI ///; La Crouade i$s 
Afhigtoit (PMis, xgos), pp. 3S-^7. 


That God is one — this was the foundation of Frands' 
piety, as it is the fundamental doctrine in the theology of the 

There is only one God — the God of creation and of salva- 
tion, the God of the Cross and die God of holiness, the God of 
love and the God of nature — one God, as there is one world 
and one heaven — one God, glorious, thanked and praised 
by all, who moves and has the ^irit of life, from worm to 
cherubim, through all the ages of eternity I Francis felt this, 
for he was no Manichee to deny life and to hate life, but a 
Christian who wanted to live, and loved life, — in its purity, 
in its golden goodness, in its deepest innermost sweetness, 
in its highest most divine plenitude. It was by these feelings 
that he was to be distinguished from the souls of pride, who 
haughtily called themselves "the pure," "the perfect,*' "the 
chosen," but who in reality had to vibrate between self-torture 
and degradation.' 

Francis was no negative soul ; neither was he a critical soul. 
The only criticism he imderstood was self-criticism. And 
this distinguished him completely from Valdes and his tenden- 
cies. As a modem historian has pertinentiy said: "Francis 
appeared as the herald of a holy life; Valdes of the divine 
command. Francis preached the love of Christ, and Valdes 
the prohibitions of the Lord. Francis overflowed with the 
h^piness of God's children; Valdes punished the sins of the 
world. Frauds collected those who loved amendment, and 
let the others quietiy go their way. Valdes attacked the 
ungodliness of the ungodly and irritated the dergy."' 

Such then was the distinctive peculiarity of Francis — 
this it was ndiich separated him from all the contemporaneous 
reformers. Even those of them who were best disposed to 
the Church, such as a Robert of Arbrissd, fell before the temp- 
tation of turning their criticism against the priesthood and 

* At the Lateran Cotmcfl of 1215 this doctrine was most explicitly invoked 
in the case of the Cathari. See Denziger's Enchkidum, pp. 355 et seq. 

*Sudi of the Cathari who had taken the so-called spiritual baptism 
ifomdameKtum) called themselves perfecH or tkcd. A good msight into 
Fnnds' monistic views is to be found in the last chapter of his Ripda prima, 

* Sdmneder hi **E§, Kwchnueii^" XS54, p. 388, quoted by Oppcnnann: 
JTflMsl pglMidd gamk Pionms** (CopenJiaca, 1895), p. aS. 


their failings, instead of against the heart of the individual. 
With instinctive certainty Francis understood that without 
the reform of the individual all other reform is meaningless, 
and therefore he brought about that general reform of conduct 
which neither the bulls of excommunication of the Pope nor 
the thunders of the lay-preachers had been able to effect. 
Here it was shown, as so often elsewhere, that God was not 
working by stormy methods. 

Cardinal John was not long in coming to a complete under- 
standing of the deep-rooted idiosyncrasy of Francis. He 
felt that here he stood before a man unselfish in root and 
branch. He felt that there were no idle promises, no false 
pretences, when Francis, speaking of his plans, simply said: 
'^God has called us to the help of his holy faith and of the 
Roman Church's priests and prelates.'' ^ 

After the lapse of a few days the Cardinal found himself in 
the presence of Innocent and imparted the following informa- 
tion: ''I have foimd a very perfect man who wishes to live 
after the precepts of the holy gospel, and in all things to 
adhere to the evangelical perfection. And I believe the Lord 
intends by him to renew die faith all over the world." 

The Brothers from Assisi were then admitted to the Pope's 
presence. The Pope let Francis unfold his programme and 
then answered: 

''My dear son, this life you and your Brothers lead seems 
too severe to me. I certainly do not doubt that you are all 
in a condition to live it, borne up by the first enthusiasm. 
But you should also think of those who come after you, and 
who may not have the same zeal." 

To this Francis only answered thus: ''Lord Pope, I depend 
upon my Lord, Jesus Christ. He has promised us eternal 
life and heavenly happiness, and will not deny tis so trivial a 

^Speculum perfeUi4mis, cap. X, where alao the motives are given: that 
Francis and his Brothers could do more to gain souls, when Uymen and priests 
lived in unity, than when people were filled with anger against the priests. In 
the same place is to be noted this saying of Francis: "In the first days of my 
conversbn God put his word into the mouth of the Bishop of Assisi, that he 
might advise me and fortify me in the service of Christ." (Sabatier's edition, 
p. 94.) This agrees perfectiy with the Legenda kium sociorum, III, zo; see in 
this book, p. 85, n. z. 


thiag as what we need here upon earth to maintain 
our life," 

With the suspicion of a smile — one seems to see it through 
the words — Innocent answered: 

''What you say, my son, is perfectly true. But the nature 
of man is frail and seldom holds to one purpose long. Go 
then and pray God to reveal to you how far what you want 
coincides with his will." 

Frands and his Brother^ left the presence of the Pope, who, 
in the next consistory, laid the affair before the Cardinals. As 
was to be expected, several of the old, practically minded ones 
had great doubts about an order whose principles seemed to 
exceed the powers of mankind.^ 

It was no purely contemplative order that Francis wished 
to found, to which utter poverty might be supposed to be 
annexed. Francis' ideal was indeed the apostolic life and 
eqiedally the apostolic preaching. But how should this last- 
mentioned task be performed in a life of all kinds of work or 
one of begging from door to door? Even the Waldenses had 
had evangelical poverty on their programme; in reality they 
had laymen among them whose work took care of the needs of 
the preachers. The Humiliati, in spirit and life allied to the 
Waldenses, originally a brotherhood of Lombard doth-makers, 
worked in common, kept what was most necessary for 
themsdves and distributed the rest to the poor. The " Catho- 
lic Poor" founded by the converted German Catharus, 
Bemhard Primus, came the nearest to Frauds' ideal; they 
lived by the work of their hands, recdved no money wages, 
but only food and dothes as compensation. This did very 
well as long as prayer and work were the Order's only effective 
obligations. But Frands came predsdy to obtain the Papal 
permission to preach, and if this preaching could not be based 
on the work of lay-preachers, then necessarily they must be 
supported by a certain amount of study. To make this study 
possible there would be needed, no matter in how poor a shape, 
fixed abodes and a doister life. And how was it possible to 
erect a doister on the foundation of complete poverty?' 

1 Bonav., Ill, g. Anon. Perns., in A, SS.^ Oct. 11, p. 590, n. 237. 

* Compare Gustav Schnttrer: "Pram won Assist" (Milncfaen, 1905), pp. 46-47« 


There is scarcely need here to do more than call attention 
to the fact that the old monastic orders held their members to 
the obligation of poverty, but this was to be taken in a far 
different sense than that in which Francis used the word. It 
stood certainly in the Benedictine Rules that he who entered 
the Order should give first his goods to the poor,^ and '' the 
holy poverty" was glorified under this almost Franciscan 
title by Bernard of Clairvaux.' But however scornfully this 
great father talks of ^'silver and gold, the white and red 
varieties of earth that acquire their value from man's wicked* 
ness/' ' yet the enstence of the Cistercian convents as well as 
that of the Benedictine abbeys depended on large estates of 
land. The single monk owned nothing except what the 
abbot gave him, but his vow of poverty was not affected if the 
cloister was richly endowed. Even a certain degree of posses- 
sion seemed necessary for the inmates of the cloister to be free 
to devote themselves to spiritual works, and not be troubled 
about their daily bread. 

On this head Francis had an entirely different conception. 
What Peter and Paxil had been able to accomplish — to an- 
nounce the gospel to the world while they at the same time 
supported themselves by the work of their hands or by the 
gifts of the charitable — should still be possible. The Apostles 
had not sat quietly within the doors of a convent, and Francis 
did not want to be behind them in this respect. 

In the College of Cardinals this wish of Francis aroused 
the liveliest opposition. All objections were met by John of 
Colonna's simple enimdation: ''These men only want us to 
allow them to live after the gospel. If we now declare that 
this is impossible, then we declare that the gospel cannot be 
followed, and thus iosult Christ, who is the origin of the gospd." 
These words had their effect and Frauds was again invited to 
the Lateran. 

In the night preceding this new meeting, the Pope is said to 
have had a curious dream. It seemed to him that he stood in 
the Lateran palace, in the place that is called speculum^ 
because there is a wide prospect therefrom, and one looks out 

^ "Res si quas habet . . . eroget prius pauperibus" (Reg. 5. BdiMrf., ۥ{>. 58)* 
* Ep. X05, n. 7. Ep. X41, n. a. * /« Ad9,, Sermo IV, n. z. 


over the Lateran church dedicated to John the Baptist and 
John the Evangelist, ''the head and mother of all churches. '^ 
And then he saw with fear that the proud building shook, the 
tower swung, and the walls b^an to crack — soon must the 
old basilica of Constantine be a heap of ruins. Paralyzed with 
fright, with powerless hands, the Pope stood in his palace and 
looked on, wanted to cry out but could not — and what good 
would that have done? — wished to fold his hands in prayer 
but could not — and even that might have been useless. 

Then a man came over the Lateran piazza — a small, com- 
mon-looking man, dressed in peasant garb, barefoot and with 
a rope around his waist instead of a belt. And the poor little 
man, looking neither to right nor left, went right across to 
the falling church. Now he stood by one of the walls that 
leaned over him, as if ready to fall and crush him in the next 
minute. Wonderful to see, it seemed as if the little man 
suddenly became as tall as the wall he stood by. See! now 
he sets his shoulder in under the cornice of the wall, and with 
a mighty push straightens the whole falling church, so that it 
again stands up in perfect condition. 

Involuntarily the Pope emitted a deep sigh of relief and loss 
of tension. As if the little man had only waited for this, he 
turned himself about with face directed towards the Lateran. 
And Innocent saw that he who so wonderfully had rescued 
the head and mother of all churches was no other than the 
little, poor Brother Francis from Assisi. 

When Frauds the day after stepped before the Pope, it was 
with a well-prepared tale. 

"Lord Pope," said he, "I will tell you a story." 

"Once there lived in a desolate place an extremely beautiful 
but very poor woman. She saw the king of the country, and 
she found favor in his eyes, and he asked her to marry him, 
hoping to have bom to him beautiful children. But when they 
were married a long enough time, the woman had borne many 
sons. And she began to meditate within herself and said: 
'What shall I a poor woman do with all the children I have? 
I have no inheritance from which they can live ! ' Then she 
said to the sons: 'Fear not, for you are the sons of a king! Go 
then to the court and he will give you all you wantl' But as 


they came to the king, he wondered at their beauty and saw 
that they resembled him, and he said to them: 'Whose sons 
are you?' But they answered that they were sons of the 
poor woman in the desolate place. Then the king embraced 
them with great joy, and said to them : ' Fear not, for you are 
my sons. If I feed so many at my table, how mudi more 
should I feed you who are my lawful sons I' And he sent a 
messenger to the woman in the wilderness, that she should 
send him all her children to the court, so that he could support 

After having ended this parable, Francis continued : 

''Lord Pope, I am the poor woman in the wilderness. God 
has in his mercy looked upon me and I have borne him sons in 
Christ. And the King of kings has said to me that he will 
take care of all my offspring, for if he gives the stranger food, 
much more should he give it to the children of his house. 
God gives worldly goods to sinners, on account of the love 
they have for their children; how profusely will he not pour 
all his gifts upon those who follow his gospel and to whom 
therefore he owes that much? " 

Thus Francis spoke, and Innocent imderstood that it was 
not the world's wisdom but the spirit and power of God. He 
broke out, turning to the Cardinals who sat there: 

"Truly this is the pious and holy man by whom the Church 
of God shall be restored ! " 

And he arose, embraced Francis, blessed him and the 
Brothers and said to them: "Go with God, Brothers, and 
announce salvation for all, as the Lord reveals it to you ! And 
when the Almighty has multiplied your numbers, then come 
back to me, and you will find me willing to give you further 
concessions and to charge you with a greater inheritance."' 

All the Brothers knelt before the Pope and promised him 
obedience as their superior. Permission to preach was also 
given to Francis, and only through him to the others. As a 
conclusion to the audience the Brothers finally received the 

^ Tra Sacii, XII, 50. Anon. Penu., p. 590, n. 238, has a somewhat 
version of the occurrence. 0)mpare CeLano, VUa secunda, 1, cap. XI. 

* CelanOy V. pr,, I, cap. XIII. Julian, A. 55., Oct. II, pp. 590-591, n. 34a 
Tres SocU, XII, 49. 


clerkly tonsure, which was given them by Cardinal John and 
which was the outer sign of the permission to preach the word.^ 
After a visit to the graves of the Apostles in St. Peter and 
St. Paul, Francis and the Brothers left Rome. Their way 
led them out over the Roman Campagna and past Soracte's 
white sununits. They hastened quickly from the place, eager 
to be back in their accustomed surroundings once more to 
pursue the life and do the things for which they had so for- 
tunately obtained the Church's permission from the mouth 
of the Vicar of Christ. 

> IntroductioQ to Regtda prima (OpusCy p. 24). Tres Socii, cap. XII, nn. 
51-52. Bonav.f JH, 10. Anon. Penis., p. 590, n. 240. 

In the work referred to before on scientiBc studies among the Franciscans, 
Fr. Hilarin Felder remarks that the permission Francis obtained in 12 10 only 
included the so-called moral preaching, but not dogmatic preaching (on faith, 
the sacraments, etc), for which theological knowledge was required (ditto, 
p. 56). 


AFTER having wandered through the scorched 
Roman Campagna in the burning heat of a summer 
day, Francis and his companions approached the 
Sabine Moimtains. Here they stopped for a while 
in the vicinity of the town of Ortis, in our day the junction 
point for the two great raUroad lines which go to Rome each 
from its own side of the Apennines. They rested here for a 
space of two weeks in one of the mountain valleys through 
which the green-grey river Nera flows. The place was so 
beautiful, says Thomas of Celano, that the Brothers were 
near proving untrue to their newly sanctioned plan of life. 
By begging from door to door in Ortis they obtained for them- 
selves the necessary daily bread — sometimes they got so much 
that they could lay aside some for the next day. Although 
this was not in accord with Francis' designs, the place was so 
lesolate and empty that there was no one to whom they could 
give for alms what was left over. An old Etruscan grave 
served them as storechamber. And so great a power had 
this isolated and solitary life in the midst of the mountains 
and of nature's loneliness upon the Brethren, that they seri- 
ously nourished the thought, if it were not better for the sal- 
vation of their souls to remain here for ever, and to forget the 
world and mankind in a severe ascetic life.^ 

Those who have lived among the Italian mountains will 
find it easy to understand this temptation. There is some- 
thing in the nature of the Italian mountains that invites to 
the hermit Ufe. For example, the limestone of which the 
Sabine Moimtains are composed supplies natural caves and 
places of retreat for hermits. For the simple man in Italy, 
the two principal needs for his nourishment are bread and 

^ Cdano, F. pr., I, cap. XIV. 


winCy and if the hennit has no wine the springs are bubbling 
and the brooks are flowing everywhere in the mountains. 
There is a real Italian feeling of enjoyment and contentment 
throughout the chapter in FioreUi, in which Francis and his 
Brother Masseo eat the bread they have begged together '' on 
a fine big stone at the side of the dear spring, ^' and thank God 
so devoutly for the happiness to be allowed to sit in the warm 
sunshine under the blue sky and appease their thirst and their 
hunger at Lady Poverty's table witii simple healthy food. . . . '* 

This is why Italy's stories of her saints are so full of tales of 
hermits. St. Benedict of Nurda himself began his career as 
•a hermit in his grotto at Subiaco, where for three years he 
fasted and scourged himself, so that the herdsmen who dis- 
covered him regarded him first as a wild beast. And again, 
one himdred years after the time of St Francis, Siena saw 
three of her most prominent and learned young men, Bernardo 
Tolomd and his two friends, withdraw to the cypress-grown 
heights of Mt. Oliveto and put on the white habit of the 
Benedictine hermit, separating them from the world. 

This temptation to a life in lonely penance and prayer now 
drew near to Francis and his friends here in this isolated valley 
among the Sabine Hills, where no voice was heard except those 
of the birds and brooks. But the temptation was overcome. 
Frauds, says his first biographer, never depended on his own 
insight, but asked in prayer for God's guidance in all things. 
And so he now chose not to live for himself alone, for it was 
made dear to him that he was sent out to save souls from the 
devil and win them for God. Soon the well-known places in 
the vaUey of Spoleto greeted Frands and his disdples, and 
they re-established their dwelling in the shed at Rivo Torto 
and in the woods around the Portiimcula chapel. 

Soon after their home-coming they had the happiness to 
receive the priest of Assisi, Silvester, into their ranks. As 
before related, Francis' liberality, that day in St. George's 
churchyard, had made a deep impression on him, and he began 
to form another opinion about the significance of our life than 
what he had hitherto entertained. It came to pass that one 
night he saw in a dream a huge cross whose arms stretched 
over the whole world, and that came out of the mouth of 


Brother Frands. This made him understand that the brother* 
hood Francis had begun to establish was to ^read over the 
whole world of mankind and that its action was a divine one. 
After some period of deliberation he decided himself to ask 
to be received among the Brethren and thus became the first 
priest in the order.^ 

Frands, ''emboldened by the power of the apostolic 
authority/' prosecuted the missionary activity he had begun 
before the journey to Rome. His preaching in accord with 
the permission given to hun was directed to the moral and 
social aspect of things — he preached conversion from evil 
ways, a life of goodness, peace with God and with one's 
neighbor. Presumably with the consent of Bishop Guido, the 
cathedral chiurch in Assisi was given to him for his sermons; 
here he heralded the Christian ideal, without fear and without 
regard to other issues, because he never, as his biographers 
^Yf gS'Ve any advice to others which he had not first prac- 
tised in his own person.' 

For Francis the proverb did not hold, that the prophet is 
without honor in his own country. That his exhortations were 
not fruitless is witnessed by the large accessions his Order now 
received — ''many of the people, noble and common, clerks and 
laymen, were seized by the spirit of God, cast aside all worldly 
distractions and followed the track Francis had trod."' Of 
these new disdples the majority were from Assisi and its 

But the preaching of Francis in San Rufino operated in a 
much wider drde. Thomas of Celano compares its effects 
to a star rising brightly over the horizon, and to the breaking of 
dawn after a gloomy night. He compares it to a seed's break- 
ing forth from the ground with the coming of the flowers and 
spring. The whole aspect of the place was changed, he writes; 
hke a river, rich in goodness and fruitfulness, Frands streamed 
through the place and transformed the gardens of the hearts 
of men so that they blossomed forth in virtue. 

It is probable that Brother Thomas, in this carefully worked- 

^ Tres Socii, DC, 31. Adus b. Prancisci, 1, 3S-43. Booav., Ill, 5. 
« Cd., F. pr., I, XV. Tres Socii, XIII, $4- 
* Tr€s Sccii, ditto. Compare Cdana 



out prose, aUudes to an occurrence which really changed the 
whole condition of Assisi, and which can undoubtedly be 
ascribed to the sermons of St. Francis. I refer to the adjust-* 
ment between the upper and lower classes, majares and minores, 
which was ratified in the great hall of the communal palace 
in I2IO. We still possess the document which was drawn 
up on this occasion, and which begins thus: 

"In the name of God. Amen. 

"The grace of the Holy Ghost be with you. 

"For the honor of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the blessed Virgin 
Mary, Emperor Otto and Duke Leopold." 

After his introduction a whole series of stipidations follows, 
of which the most important is the agreement below: 

" In all mutual agreements, no alliance shall be entered into, 
neither with pope or his nundos or legates, nor with the 
emperor or king or their nuncios or legates, or with any state 
or fortification or with any magnate; but they shall be imited 
in aU things which are necessary for the welfare and progress 
of the dty of Assisi." 

In this, the Magna Charta of Assisi, almost all the dtizens 
who hitherto had been bondsmen were rdeased on payment 
of a very small ransom, which coidd be validly paid to the 
dty authorities if their lords refused to accept it. Inhabitants 
of the environs of Assisi recdved the same rights as the dtizens 
proper; the protection of strangers was provided for; the 
compensation of ambassadors for going on embassies was 
stipulated; finally, amnesty for the disturbances of 1202 was 
pronoimced, and the proper authorities were strictly .charged 
to carry out the work on the cathedral that had been under 
way since 1140.^ 

When we think of how the Italian republics, both in the 
thirteenth century and later, were rent by dvil wars, then 
we can realize how eloquently such a document speaks for the 
peaceful growth and prosperity of Assisi. The biographers 
also picture Frauds to us as the pacifier in other Italian 
states, such as Arezzo, Perugia, Siena.* Even the cdebrated 

' Cristofani, 1, 123-150. Le Moonier, 1, 165-167. Sabatier, 133-135. 
* Arezzo: Bonav., VI, 9; Perugia: Celano, VUa secunda, II, 6; Siena: 
FiareUi, cap. XI. 


Wolf of Gubbio is nothing without the tale, adorned in the 
legend, about the treaty of peace between a little Italian 
republic and one of those inhuman savage lords of a castle^ 
who, like Knight Werner of Urslingen, could bear a shield 
on the breast with the inscription, ''Enemy of God, of Pity 
and of Mercy." ^ An historical companion-piece to Frands 
and the Wolf of Gubbio is given by Anthony of Padua face to 
face with the tyrant Ezzelin.^ 

This aspect of Francis' activity is pictured in the legends 
as the expulsion of devils. In Giotto's pictures in the upper 
church in Assisi we see the demons flying in all sorts of horrible 
forms up the chimneys of Arezzo, while Francis' hand is 
lifted in blessing over the city. We, children of the twenti- 
eth century, have lost the power of representing the evil 
spirits in bodily form, as the artist and tellers of legends did 
in the Middle Ages. But can we say that their presence is 
less certain or their disagreeable propinquity in many fateful 
moments less real? Are there no times and places when the 
great power of darkness is felt, not only in but around one — 
where it is as if a real incorporeal voice whispered in the ear, 
when one is led off into the flames of hell hand in hand — 
when there is a low, penetrating voice that goes through one: 
"See that! Go there!" Ah, there are not only many places, 
but also many houses, where the need is real that one of God's 
friends should appear upon the threshold, and with mighty 
voice give the command: ''In the name of the Almighty God 
and of his servant St. Francis I command you evil spirits to 
depart! "» 

It was at this time that one day the Rules of the Order were 
being read aloud in the presence of Frands, and that the 
reader came to the part of the seventh chapter where is the 
expression: et sitU minareSy "and they shall be inferiors.'^ 
The thought of a name for the Brotherhood had long occupied 

> FioretU, cap. XXI. Compare the legend of "Brother Wolf" on Mt. Alvema 
in Arthur's Martyrlogium Franciscanum for July 3 and in Wadding (1215, 
n. 16). See Translator's note, p. 410. 

* Lempp: "A. v. P." in Zischf.f. Kgsch. (Gotha), vol. XIII, p. 22, n. 3. 

'ante portam dvitatis coepit damare valenter: "Ez parte omnlpotentis 
Dei et jussu servi ejus Frandad, procul hinc discedite, daemones universi." 
Bonav., VI, 9. 


Frands: the tenn "Penitents from Assisi/' viri poenitentes 
de Assisio, was only an expedient to repress the curious. On 
hearing this placed in the Rules, the word Minores impressed 
him greatly — ''Little people, Little Brothers, that name 
suits me and mine well!" Ordo frairum ndnarum, ''the 
Order of the Minor Brothers," it became. 

Thomas of Celano, in his first biography of St. Francis, has 
given a sketch of the life of the Brothers in the shed at Rivo 
Torto, which, in the bright harmony of clear colors on a sort 
of ground of gold, remind one of Fra Angelico's altar-pieces. 
When they returned from their work at evening time (he 
writes) and were again together, or when they in the course 
of the day met on the road, love and joy shone out of the 
eyes, and they greeted each other with chaste embraces, 
holy kisses, cheerful words, modest smiles, friendly glances 
and equable minds. Because they had given up all self-love, 
they thought only of helping eadi other; with longing they 
hurried home, with joy they abided there; but separation was 
bitter, and leaving was sad. Dissension was unknown among 
them; there was no maUce, no envy, no misimderstanding, 
no bitterness, but all was tmity, peace, thankfulness and 
songs of praise. Seldom or never did they cease from praising 
God and praying to and thanking him for the good they had 
done, sighing and grieving for what they had done badly or 
had failed in. They felt that they were deserted by God 
when thdr hearts were not penetrated by the sweetness 
of the Spirit. So as not to fall asleep in their nightiy 
prayers they wore belts, studded with iron points, whose 
pricking prevented them from sleeping. Filled with the 
Holy Ghost they not only prayed from the Breviary like 
the Catholic priests, but at intervals sang out with sup- 
pliant voice and spiritual melody. Our Father who art in 

The central point in all this brotherly intercourse was 
Frands. From him none of the Brothers kept anything 
hidden, but revealed the most secret thoughts and feelings 
of their hearts to him. They obeyed him, and with so loving 

» Celano, V. pr., I, XV. Spec, ptrf,, cap. XXVL 
• Celano, V, pr.,, I, XV-XVm. 


an obedience that not only did each one fulfil his behest but 
also tned to read his wish in his slightest expression. 

The power Francis exercised rested first and foremost on 
his personality. He was the Brothers' teacher, not only in 
word but also in action. When he warned them against 
enjoyment in eating, and even said that it was not possible 
to eat to satiety without danger of bearing the yoke of luxury, 
they understood his warning better when they saw him 
strew ashes on his own food or pour cold water on it to take 
away its savor. When he told them to fight heroically against 
all temptations, it was he who gave them an example by jump- 
ing in winter into the ice-cold river to put to flight a tempta- 
tion of the flesh. 

Every one who has had the happiness in his youth to have 
lived near a highly exalted personality will therefore under- 
stand that a young Brother named Ricerius had acquired the 
conviction that the good-will of Frands was an infallible sign 
of the satisfaction of God. But now it came to pass with him, 
the last to have come into the Order, that, while Francis 
showed himself friendly and loving to the others, he seemed 
to make an exception in his case only. When Brother Ricer- 
ius had once come by this warped imagining, naturally every 
occasion served only to implant it deeper within him. If 
he came out as Francis was going in, he would think Frands 
did so to avoid being with him. If Francis stood and talked 
with others, and they happened to look in the direction of 
Brother Ricerius, then he would think that they must be 
complaining at having taken him into the Order and were 
determining to ask him to take his leave again. Thus did 
this young Brother misjudge all and was almost desperate, 
certain that he was avoided and repelled by Frands and 
consequently by God. 

The sight of Brother Ricerius' pained face and imploring, 
longing eyes seems, like a revdation, to have betrayed to 
Francis the poor youth's tribulations. One day, therefore, he 
had the young Brother summoned and said to him: ''My 
dear son, let no evil thought disturb thee or tempt thee! Thou 
art my own dear child, and one of those I think the most of , 
and as deserving of my love as of my confidence. Come then 


and speak with me when thou wilt, and whenever anything 
weighs upon thee» thou art always thoroughly welcome!" 
Overcome, out of his senses with joy, with heart happily 
beating and eyes streaming with tears, the young Brother 
left the master and knew of nothing until he in a lonely place 
out in the woods fell down on his knees and thanked God for 
his happiness.^ 

Two other stories that are associated with Rivo Torto tdl 
of the same refined, loving understanding of the special trouble 
of each individual Brother. 

One night — thus it told in Speculum perfecUanis — one 
of the Brothers woke from sleep with loud cries and shouted: 
''Oh, I am dying, I am dying!" AU the others woke, and 
Francis said: ''Let us get up, my Brothers, «nd light the 
lamp!" As soon as the light was lighted, he asked: '^Who 
was that who cried out, 'I am dying'?" One of the Brothers 
answered: "It was I!" And Francis asked further, "What 
ails thee, my Brother, to make you die? " And he answered, 
"I am dying of hunger!" 

Now this was in the early days of the Brotherhood, and they 
mortified and scourged their bodies beyond measure. There- 
fore Francis had the table at once spread and sat at the table 
with the starving Brother, lest he should be ashamed to eat 
alone, and he invited the rest of the Brothers to take seats 
at the table. And after they had eaten, Francis said to them: 

" My dear sons, I truly say to you that every one must 
study his own nature. Some of you can sustain Ufe with 
less food than others can, and therefore I desire that he 
who needs more nourishment shall not be obliged to equal 
others, but that every one shall give his body what it needs 
for being an efficient servant of the soul. For as we are obliged 
to be on our guard against superfluous food which injures body 
and soul alike, thus we must be on the watch against immoder- 
ate fasting, and this the more, because the Lord wants con- 
version and not victims." ' 

^ Cdano, V. pr., I, XVm. PioretH, cap. XXVII. AOus b.Prancisci, cap. 
XXXVn. — Brother Ricerius is author of a little work, which by many is 
placed as high as Thomas i Kempis' "Following of Christ ": QuaUler amma 
fassii cHo penemrt ad cogmUtmem verUatis, 

* Spec, perf., cap. XXVII. Celano, VUa secunda, I, cap. XV. 


A trait of the same kind is told of, when Frands rose early 
one morning and took a sick Brother, whom he thought it 
would benefit to eat grapes fasting, along with him into a 
vineyard, and there sat by his side and gave him grapes to eat 
in company with himself, lest the Brother should be ashamed 
of eating alone. It can be understood that, as the Speculum 
tells us, the Brother, as long as he lived, never forgot this atten- 
tion of Frands', and that he never could tell the other Brothers 
this reminiscence of his youth without tears in his eyes.^ 

The residence at Rivo Torto came to an end in a manner as 
abrupt as drastic. One day, as the Brothers were in the shed, 
praying quietly each in his place, a peasant suddenly appeared 
with his ass, which without more ado he drove in, calling 
out in a loud voice: '^ Go in, long ears, here we can surdy be 
comfortable." These words, which seemed to be more intended 
for the Brothers than for the ass, showed that it was his 
intention to at once change the house of prayer into an asses' 
stable. After a few minutes' contemplation of the man's 
untroubled demeanor, Frands broke forth: 

^'I know. Brothers, that God has not called us to keep a 
hotd for asses, but to pray and show men the way of salva* 

All then arose and left Rivo Torto for ever. From now on, 
Portiuncula was the central point of the Franciscan movement 
and soon put the first modest abode completdy in the shade. 
And yet it was there that Frands and the mistress of his 
heart, the noble Lady Poverty, had q>ent their first and 
perhaps happiest days. 

^Spec, perf.y cap. XXVIII. Celano, Vita secunda, m, no. Acoordiog to 
Wadding (1210, n. 50), this disciple was Silvester. 
* Tns SocH, XUI, 55. CeL, V. pr., I, XVL 


TIE small and andeDt chapel of Portiuncula, as it 
exists to-day, is a long room, with a pointed arched 
ceiling and a semi-drcular apse, a gable roof, a simple 
arched door in the facade, and another in one of the 
side-walls. According to a tradition that for the first time is 
given in Salvator Vitalis' Paradisus Serapkicus (Milan, 1645), 
the chapel was built by five hermits during the pontificate of 
Pope Liberius in the fourth century, who were returning home 
from the Holy Land with a relic of Mary's grave, which was 
given to them by St. CyrU. In any case there is found over the 
altar a picture of great age, which represents the assmnption 
of the Blessed Virgin into Heaven; the many angels who float 
around Mary in the picture gave the popular name to the 
chapel of " Our Lady of the Angels." The designation Parti- 
uncula — "little portion of earth" — dates from the Bene- 
dictines on Monte Subasio, to whom the chapel had belonged 
ever since 576. In 1075 the building was in such a ruinous 
condition that the monks abandoned it and withdrew to the 
mother-house upon the mountain. According to the legend. 
Pica had prayed in the deserted chapel, and here received the 
knowledge that she should have a son who would eventually 
rebuild the fallen house of God. After the putting of it in 
order. Frauds and his Brothers usually kept themselves in 
the forest which surroimded the churdi, and it was a great 
joy to them when the abbey on Monte Subasio, which now 
belonged to the Camaldolites, gave the Brethren the privilege 
of using Portiimcula for ever. For Francis was imwilling to 
take possession of the chapel in fee simple, and strictly kept up 
the custom of sending every year a ba^et of fish to the monks 
as payment of rent.^ 

* Thode,a8 before referred to, 302-304. Wadding: Anmakst xaxo, on. 27 and 3a 



At the side of the chapel Francis and his Brothers built 
a hut of interwoven boughs, plastered over with mud and 
thatched with leaves. Sacks of straw served for beds, the 
naked earth was both table and chair, and the hedge served 
for convent walls.^ This was the first Franciscan luogo — 
"place" — established, which according to Frands' expressed 
wish was to be a model for all the others. When the Francis- 
can Order began later to depart from his ideals, one of the 
signs of this departure was that the designation luogo, locus, 
was changed for the more stately convento, whence the 
less severe branch of the order took a name (Conventuals). 
It was a new brotherhood, the ''Poor of Christ," the Jesuati, 
founded by St. John Colombini of Siena, who assumed the 
old Franciscan designation.* 

Besides the original flock of disdples, there was now gathered 
here in Portiuncula a circle of new Brothers who could prop- 
erly be called the new generation of Franciscans. By the 
side of Bernard, Giles, Angdo and Silvester, tradition and 
legend, from now on, placed a second series of names: Rufino, 
Masseo, Jimiper, Leo. Yes, this younger set is near surpassing 
the others and casting the older ones a little into the shade. 
It seems as if many of the older ones had a certain inclination 
to isolate themselves, and set more of a price on solitude than 
on community life. Thus Silvester longed to keep himself 
in the caves of Carceri and there give himself up to prayer and 
meditation. Bernard was so wrapt up in God, when he was 
in the woods, that he did not even hear Brother Francis calling 

» Spec, perf., capp. V, VII, X. 

' Three epochs can be distinguished in the history of the Franciscan coo- 
vents. First the Brothers lived where they worked, espcdally in hospitals. 
Then they had their own loci, such as Portiuncula, Monte Ripido near Perugia, 
Alberino near Siena, La Foresta, Grecdo and Poggio Bustone in the valley of 
Rieti, le Pugliole near Bologna. Coincident with these hermitages were estab- 
lished the more lonely places to which the Brothers sometimes withdrew them- 
selves (eremi, reliri); this character was to be seen in Carceri near Assisi, 
Cerbajolo in Casentino, Celle near Cortona, Montduco near Spoleto, Monte 
Casale near Borgo San Sepoloro, S. Urbano near Mami, Fonte Colombo in the 
valley of Rieti. Such was the condition of things, for instance, when Jacques 
de Vitry visited Italy. Finally, city convents were erected: 1235, in Bologna, 
1 336, in Sienna, and in Viterbo, Florence, Cortona, etc. (Spec, per/,, ed. Sabatier, 
p. 35, n. x). For the Jesuati's luogkiy see Feo Bdcari: VUaffaUumGiesuaH^ 
cap. I (ed. Dngonedelli, 1659, ed. Gig^, 1843). 


to him. At other times ''he wandered sometimes twenty, 
sometimes thirty days at a time alone, on the highest momitain 
smnmits, and saw the things which are on high." ^ Giles 
led a life of extensive travelling, was now in the Holy Land, 
now in Spain, now in Rome, now in Bari at the shrine of St. 

Yet we will do wrong if we follow the legends and forget 
the works of early days on accoimt of the newer members. 
This before all applied to Brother Giles, whom Francis called 
by the title, ''the Knight of the Rouid Table," and in 
whom all of the original Franciscan spirit was vivified and 
stayed alive to the last. Until his death, which happened in 
the year 1262 on the festival of St. George, the anniversary of 
his reception into the Order, Giles continued to be God's good 
knight and a true St. George of the noble Lady Poverty. His 
life is especially a witness to the love of labor of the early 
Franciscans. His biography as it is written by his younger 
friend. Brother Leo, is full of such traits. 

On his way to the Holy Land he came to Brindisi, and as 
there was no chance of embarking there at once, he had to 
stay several days in the dty. Here he begged an old cart, 
filled it with water and dragged it through the dty streets, 
calling out like the water<<:arriers: "Cki vude delP aqua? 
Who wants water?" As pay for water he took bread and 
such other things as were needed by him and his companions. 
On the return from the same pilgrimage he was put ashore at 
Ancona. Here too he foimd employment; he went out and 
cut osiers for baskets and rushes for covering bottles, he 
plaited them and sold them, not for money but for bread. 
He also carried bodies to the grave and earned thereby, not 
only a garment for himself, but also for the Brethren who 
accompanied him; such deeds he wished to pray for him 
while he slept. « 

Apparently it was during this stay in Ancona that a priest 
who saw him coming home to the town with a bundle of rushes 
uttered the word "hypocrite" as Giles passed him by. On 
hearing this, Giles was so cast down that he could not keep 
back the tears, and when the Brother who accompanied him 

!», capp. XVI, m, xxvm. 


asked him the reason of his distress, he answered, ''Because 
I am a hypocrite, as a priest to-day said to me." '^ And does 
that make you believe that you are one?" asked the Brother. 
"Yes," answered Giles, "a priest cannot lie!" Then his 
companion had to teach him that there is a difference between 
priests as between men, and that, like a man, a priest can 
very likely do wrong, and thus comforted the imhappy Brother 

During his visit in Rome Giles had arranged it so that he 
heard mass early in the morning, and then went out to a forest 
at some distance from the dty. Here he gathered a bundle 
of wood which he carried back to Rome and sold for bread and 
other necessities. Once a lady wanted to give him more for the 
wood than he had asked, as she saw that it was a religious who 
was before her. But Giles now would not take more than 
half the former price. " I will not yield to avarice," he declared. 

At the time of the wine harvest he helped pluck grapes, in 
the olive harvest he gathered olives. He often gleaned com 
in the fields like other paupers, but gave most of it away, 
saying that he had no granary to keep it in. From San Sisto's 
fountain outside of Rome he brought water to the monks in 
the convent of SS. Quattro Coronati, and also helped the 
convent cook in mixing bread and grinding flour. Altogether 
he took part in all kinds of work by which he could support 
himself; he only had one invariable requirement, the time 
necessary to read his Breviary and for meditation. 

In the midst of this life of ceaseless industry he was infused 
with the deep Franciscan goodness. Once he cut the hood 
off of his cloak, while on his way to San Jago di Compostella, 
and gave it to a poor person who had asked for alms; he went 
about for the next twenty days without any hood. As he 
went through Lombardy, a man beckoned to him. Giles 
thought that he wanted to give him something, and approached 
him, but with a grin the man stuck a pair of dice into his 
hand. "God forgive you, my son!" said Giles, and went his 
way. When carrying water to the monks in Santi Quattro 
Coronati, he was addressed by a wanderer on the Appian 
Way, who wanted a drink from his jar. Giles refused it, 
Whereupon the man made an outcry in his wrath. Giles 


made no req>onse, but as soon as he had reached the convent 
he got another jar, filled it, overtook the man and asked him 
to drink, saying, ''Do not be angry with me, but I did not 
like to take the monks water that another had tasted of ! " 

Even when a guest with such noble people as the Bishop of 
Tusculiun, Cardinal Nicholas, he went out and earned his 
bread, which he afterwards ate at the Cardinal's table. One 
day it rained in torrents and the Cardinal was rejoicing that 
Brother Giles for once would have to eat of his food. Mean- 
while Giles went to the kitchen, found that it was dirty, and 
offered the cook to clean it for a price of two loaves. The 
offer was accepted, and the Cardinal was disappointed in his 
hopes. As it rained the next day also, Giles earned his two 
loaves by polishing all the knives in the house. 

Under tbe title of "Brother Giles's Wisdom," there are 
collected a quantity of maxims and sayings, apparently mostly 
from his later years. Thus it is told that two cardinals once 
had paid him a visit and on leaving had politely recommended 
themselves to his prayers. ''It is surely not necessary that 
I should pray for you, my lords," was his answer, ''for it is 
evident that you have more faith and hope than I have!" 
''How is that?" asked the two princes of the church, aston- 
ished and perhaps a little anxiously, for Brother Giles was 
known for his wit. " Because you who have so much of power 
and honor and the glory of this world hope to be saved, and 
I who live so poorly and wretchedly fear in ^ite of all that 
I will be damned!" 

Until his death Brother Giles lived true to the Franciscan 
ideals — poverty, chastity, cheerfulness. A sonnet which he 
composed in honor of chastity is preserved for us, as well as 
some fragments of other verse. In his little convent garden 
at Perugia he listened to the cooing doves, and spoke to them. 
And on beautiful summer mornings he would be seen wander- 
ing up and down among his flower-beds, singing the praises 
of God, and playing as if on a violin, with two sticks, one of 
which he scraped upon the other.^ 

1 "pigliando il bastonceDo comindd a fare con esao a modo di viola, e di qua 
e di odA per Torto disocxTeiido a modo di sonatore di citara cantava." Feo 
Bdcari: Vila dijraie Egidio, cap. XXV. (Prose, ed. Gigli, vol. a, Roma, 1843.) 


If the older Brothers lived thus much by themselves^ we 
find the newer generation of Franciscans almost always in the 
company of Francis. Especially was Masseo of Marignano^ 
near Assisi, the master's companion on many important 
journeys. While Francis was '' a very insignificant man and 
of small size and therefore was taken for a poor being by 
those who did not know him, " on the other hand Masseo was 
''large and fine-looking and had the gift of eloquence and 
could speak with people." When the two went together 
begging, Francis got ''nothing but a few bits and remains of 
bread, and that dry," but Masseo "got good big pieces, and 
bread enough and whole loaves." Just the same the tall, 
fine-looking, eloquent Masseo offered his services up in Car- 
ceri, "to look after the door, to receive alms and to go into the 
kitchen" so that he alone would bear the whole burden of 
the house, while the other Brothers could give themselves 
undisturbedly to prayer and meditation. And once when he 
was walking with Francis and came to a cross-way where one 
could go to Florence, to Siena or to Arezzo, and Brother 
Masseo asked, "Father, which way shall we take?" Francis 
answered him, "The way God wishes." But Brother Masseo 
asked further, "How shall we know God's will?" And 
Francis answered: "That I will now show you. In the name 
of holy obedience I order you to start turning roimd and 
round in the road here, as the children do, and not to stop 
until I tell you to." Then Brother Masseo began to whirl 
round and round as children do, and he became so giddy that 
he often fell down; but as Francis said nothing to him, he got 
up again and continued. At last as he was turning round 

He had learned this way of playing from his master, Frands. See Spec^ P^S*^ 
cap. XCIII, and Cel., V, sec., in, 67. Compare also Anal, Franc,, III, p. loi. 
The Sonnet to Chastity reads thus: 

O santa castitatel Quanta e la tua bontatel 

Veramente tu se' preziosa, e tale 

E tanto soave il tuo ardore 

Che chi non ti assaggia, non sa quanto vale. 

Impero li stolti non oonosoono Q tuo valore. 
See: A, SS,, Apr. Ill, pp. 220 et seq.; Anal, Franc,, III, pp. 74 et seq.: 
Celano, Viia prima, I, cap. XVII; Beniard of Beasa: De laudUms (in Anal. 
Franc., Ill), p. 671; Doc. Aniiq. Franc, (ed. Lemmens), I (Quaracchi, xgox), pp. 
57 et seq.; Vila difraU Egidio and DcUrima difirale Egidio in appendix to PiarM. 


with great vigor, Francis said, "Stop and do not move I" 
And he stood still, and Francis asked him, ''How is your 
face tiimed?" Brother Masseo answered, ''Towards 
Siena!" Then said Francis, "It is God's will that we 
shall go to Siena to-day/' 

Francis exercised the tall impressive Brother Masseo with 
other such hiuniliations until he felt humble and small. And 
Masseo at last became so deep in humility that he regarded 
himself as a great sinner and very deserving of hell, although 
he daily waxed strong in all virtues. And this humility 
filled hkn with such an inward light that he was always full 
of joy. And often when he prayed he would give out a cry 
of joy, a monotone like the cooing of a dove, and with cheer- 
ful face and joytvl heart he lived in the sight of God and yet 
regarded himself as the most insignificant of men. But it 
came to pass in his old age that young Brother Jacob of 
Fallerone asked him why he did not make a change in his 
way of rejoicing and make a new verse. Then he answered 
with great delight: "Because he who has all his happiness 
in only one thing should not sing but the one verse." ^ 

Brother Rufino of Assisi among the younger disciples 
reminds us of Bernard of Quintavalle among the older ones. 
Like him he was of noble family — he belonged to the noble 
race, Sdfi or Scefi. And like Bernard he had an inclination to be 
a hermit — an inclination which was so strong that finally he, 
on a single opportunity offering itself, was near leaving Francis, 
whose practical Christianity appealed to him less than a life 
in ascetic solitude, like that of the old hermits of the desert. 
He was often seen sunk in prayer and meditation, so that he 
could scarcely be roused out of it, and when he at last was 
awakened, there was no connection in what he said.' 

On the other hand. Brother Juniper or Ginepro was entirely 
of Frauds' spirit. Of him Francis said jokingly, "I wish we 
had a whole grove of such juniper trees!" It was he who one 

^ Acius b. Francisci (ed. Sabatier), cap. XI, cap. XII, cap. XIII, cap. XLL 
Ckr<m. XXIV gen. in Anal. Franc,, III, pp. 1x5-158. FtaretU, capp. XI, XII, 

'''Unde semel vocatus a sociis ut iret pro pane . . . respondit: Frater a 
te imo mo moUo volonHre,*' Actus, cap. XXXIII. Compare FioreUi, capp. 
XXIX-XXXI; Chron. XXIV gen,, pp. 46 et seq. Rufino died, 1370, in Assia. 


day, when one of the Brothers who lay sick in Portiuncula 
convent expressed a desire for boiled pig's feet, sprang into 
the woods and cut off a foot from one of the swine which went 
there after mast, and served it to the sick Brother. After 
him came the peasant to whom the pig belonged, and com- 
plained to Francis, whose suspicion fell upon Brother Jimiper. 
He was called, and answered freely about his action. ''For," 
said he, '^ our Brother got so much good out of the foot of this 
pig that I would have no remorse if I had cut the feet off 
of a hundred swine!" -With much difficulty Francis brought 
Brother Juniper to suspect the least wrong in such a wilful 
trespass upon a neighbor's goods. ''Very well," said he at 
last, "I see that the man is angry with us, but now I will try 
to find him and pacify him." And he ran the best he could 
and found the peasant and told him the whole story — how 
the Brother who was sick wanted a cooked pig's foot, that 
pigs are made for man's use, for his nourishment and food, 
that everything belonged equally to all men, because no one 
can make so much as one little pig, but God alone can do it, 
and that therefore he had taken the one pig's foot because 
the sick man had wanted it so badly. 

All this Brother Juniper told, very explicitly and with 
satisfaction, to the angry peasant, being now sure that all was 
understood and that he would be understood and that the 
amputation of the pig's foot would be forgiven. But it turned 
out otherwise, for the man began to abuse Brother Juniper, 
calling him an evil-doer, a loafer, a thief and robber, a simple- 
ton and a fool. "Why, he cannot have understood me," thinks 
Brother Juniper, and begins anew his story, still more impres- 
sively than before. Then when he came to the end he fell 
on the neck of the peasant and cried out, " See, I did this for 
my poor sick Brother, that he might get well again, and you 
have helped me, so you must cease being troubled or angry, 
but let us together rejoice and thank the good God who gives 
us the fruits of the earth and the flocks of the field and the 
wild beasts of the woods, and who wants us all to be his 
children and to help one another like good brothers and sisters. 
Am I not right, my dear, good brother?" And thereupon 
Brother Juniper embraced the peasant and pressed him to 


his heart and kissed him, and the peasant thought over it, 
begged for forgiveness from God and from the Brothers with 
bitter tears for his hardness, and went away and caught a 
pig and slaughtered it, cooked it and brought it himself to the 
convent at Portiuncula as a gift to the Brethren. 

The same Brother Juniper was once in a little convent, and 
the time came for the other Brothers to leave it to go each 
to his work. As they went off, the guardian Brother gave 
instructions to Brother Juniper and said to him, ''Take good 
care of the house while we are away, and cook a little food 
before we return." ''Depend upon me," answered Brother 
Juniper, and the others went on. 

When he was alone he began to reflect over what he had 
been told, and said to himself as he went on chopping wood 
and gathering some twigs to make the fire with: "Is it not 
really unreasonable that a Brother should thus be in the 
kitchen every day and use up his time there without being 
able to pray a little bit? I shall certainly see to it, so that 
to-day tliere shall be prepared so much food, that even if the 
Brothers were many more they would have enough to eat 
for the next two weeks!" Having reached this determina- 
tion Brother Jimiper went to the neighboring dty, and pur- 
chased there a lot of day pots, together with meat, game, eggs 
and a quantity of vegetables. He lit a big wood fire, filled 
the pots with water and put all the food into them, chickens 
with the game, all unplucked, the v^etables without washing, 
and the rest in the same style. 

The Brothers came home as Brother Juniper was in full 
blast with his cooking. A huge fire was roaring away, and 
Brother Juniper jumped from one pot to the other so that it 
was a joy to see him, and stirred them with a long stick, because 
the fire was so hot that he could not get near the pots. At 
last he rang the dinner bell, and red with his exertions and the 
heat of the fire, he carried in his dishes of food and set them 
down before the assembled Brethren, saying: "Eat now, and 
then we will go to our prayers! I have cooked so much food 
tcxlay that there is enough to last us for the next two weeks ! " 
Meanwhile, none of the Brethren touched the food which 
Brother Juniper vainly with great eloquence offered them as a 


great feast. But as it dawned upon Brother Juniper what 
he had done he cast himself at their feet, kneeling and strik* 
ing his breast, and blamed himself for having spoiled so much 
good food. 

It was not alwajrs pure nalvet£ that was at the bottom of 
such actions. Sometimes Brother Juniper wished in this 
burlesque manner to give others of the Brethren a lesson 
which might be needed as they departed from the spirit of 
the Order. Possibly, the Brothers to whom he served the wild 
lobscouse had shown too great interest and had spent too 
much time in the cooking department. A reprimand of the 
best kind was given by Brother Juniper when, in the middle 
of the night, he served porridge with a big liunp of butter in 
the middle to his superior, who had reproved him the preced- 
ing afternoon for his too great generosity in giving alms. 
^Tather," said Brother Juniper as he stood before his door 
with the plate of porridge in one hand and a lighted candle 
in the other, ^' to-day when you reprimanded me for my fault 
I noticed that you were very hoarse from excitement. Now 
I have prepared this porridge for you and beg you to eat it; 
it is good for the throat and chest ! " The superior, who under- 
stood the meaning of this untimely attention, harshly told 
Brother Juniper to go away with his foolish tricks. ^' Well," 
said he, *^ the porridge is cooked and has to be eaten, so you 
hold the light whOe I do the eating!" The other was enough 
of a Franciscan to answer this boldness by sitting down at 
the table with Brother Juniper and sharing the porridge with 

Such actions resulted in making Brother Juniper famous, 
and people used to collect together when he was coming, to 
see him. It so happened that he was once sent to Rome, 
and several prominent persons — of the same type of the 
ladies rustling in silks and smelling of perfume, who in our 
days are seen lorgnetting the martyrs' graves in the cata- 
combs — presented themselves at his door for the purpose 
of meeting him. Brother Jumper had been told about it and 
prepared at once to play a trick on their .curiosity masquer- 
ading as piety. In a field by the roadside a coujide of bojrs 
were playing seesaw, having placed a jdank across a support, 


each sitting on his own end of the plank and going up and 
down alternately. So Brother Juniper took the place of 
one of the boys, and when the noble company came along, 
they were much surprised to find the man of God busily 
engaged in seesawing. None the less they greeted him widi 
great deference and next waited for him to stop his play and 
come out to themr^ But Brother Juniper troubled himself 
little about their greeting and waiting; on the contrary, he 
gave the more energy to his seesawing. And after the 
strangers had waited thus a reasonable time, and Brother 
Juniper kept on seesawing, they went away irritated, as they 
mutually agreed that the so-called holy Brother was an 
entirely common peasant and lout, void of all culture. Then 
only did Brother Juniper leave his seesawing, and went on to 
Rome in peace and alone. 

Like Brother Leo and Brother Angdo Tancredi of Rieti, 
Brother Juniper belonged to the small select circle who, 
after the master's death, associated themselves with St. 
Clara. Brother Juniper was present with the other two at 
the death-bed of St. Clara. ''What is the news from God?" 
she asked cheerfully, as this loyal disciple of Francis showed 
himself at her bedside, and he sat down by her and ^>oke 
''flaming sparks of words." ^ 

A chip of the same block as Brother Juniper was that 
Brother John, who bore the surname ^' the simple," whose 
calling to enter the order is told in the following recital: 

''When the Brethren were living at Portiuncula and were 
now many in niunber, St. Francis went around to the towns 
and churches in the vicinity of Assisi, and preached to the 
people, that they should be converted, and he had a broom 
with him to dean the churches of dirt, for it made St. Francis 
very unhappy when he saw that a diurch was not as clean 

* "Inter quos dam apparet frater Junipenis, egregius Domini jacolator" 
(imdonbtedly /octt/o^, compare Spec, perf.9 cap. 100) "... nova hilaritate 
perfiua quaerit, si aliquid novi de Domino habet ad manum. Qui aperiens os 
samn, de fomace fervidi cordis flammantes verborum scintillas emittit." {VUa 
S. Oarae, Ada 55., Aug. II, cap. VI, n. 51.) See also VUd di JraU Ginepro 
in the appendix to FicreUi with the extract from Chronica XXIV gm, (AruUecia 
Frandscana, HI, pp. 54 et seq.)« Brother Juniper died 1 258; according to Wad* 
^ng he entered the order in laxo. (Wadding, AnnaUs^ 12x0, q. 36, 1258, n. 10.) 


as he wished. And therefore he sometimes stopped in his 
preaching and gathered the priests around him in some re- 
tired place so that no one else should hear, and preached on 
the salvation of souls and especially on keeping the churches 
and altars clean and all that had to do with the celebration 
of the holy mysteries. 

''And one day he came to a village in the environs of Assisi 
and started in all humility to sweep and clean it. But the 
rumor of who was there ran through the whole place, and a 
peasant who was ploughing his field also heard of it and 
came at once and found him busy sweeping the church. But 
the peasant, whose name was John, said to him, 'Brother, 
give me the broom and let me help you!' And he took the 
broom out of his hand and swept vigorously. Then they sat 
down together and he said to St. Francis: 'Brother, for a 
long time I have had a desire to serve God, and especially 
after I heard of thee and thy Brethren, but I never knew how 
I could meet thee. It has now pleased God to bring us to- 
gether, so I will do all thou wishest.' 

"When St. Francis perceived so great a zeal he rejoiced in 
the Lord, especially because at this time he had only a few 
Brothers, and it seemed to him that this simple and upright 
man could become a good Brother. Therefore he said to 
him: 'Brother, if you have it in your mind to live like us, you 
must free yourself of all the possessions you can dispose of, 
and you must give them to the poor after the counsels of the 
gospel, for thus have all my Brothers done each in his own 

"When he had heard this he turned back to the field where 
he had left the oxen standing in the plough, unyoked them, 
and brought one of them back to St. Francis. 'Brother,' 
said he to him, 'it is now many years that I have served my 
father and all in the house; I intend, therefore, as my portion 
by inheritance, to take this ox and give it to the poor, in the 
way that shall seem best to you.' 

"But when his parents and his sisters, who were all younger 
than he, heard that he was going to leave them, they began 
to cry so strongly and so long that St. Francis was moved to 
pity, because they were numy and could do nothing. There- 


fore he said to them: 'This your son wants to serve God, 
and that should not di^lease you in him, but you should rather 
rejoice over it But so that you in the meanwhile shall not 
be without comfort, I will have him give you this ox, just as 
he would have given it to the other poor, as the gospel teaches 
us.' Then they were all comforted with the words St. Fran- 
cis said, and still more that they had got the ox back. . . . 

" But Brother John was clothed in the habit of the Order, 
and so great was his simplicity that he thought he was obliged 
to do all that St. Francis did. When therefore St. Francis 
was in a church or other place to pray, he watched him closely 
so as to follow all his ways and movements. And when St. 
Francis bent the knee or lifted his hands to heaven, or spit, 
or sighed, then he did exactly the same. But as St. Francis 
became aware of this, he scolded him very cheerfully about it. 
Then Brother John answered, 'Brother, I have promised to 
do all that you do, and therefore it is fit that I copy you in 
aU things.' "1 

Frands' special confidant and best friend among the younger 
ones, yes, among all the disciples at this time, was Brother 
Leo of Assisi, who filled the office of his amanuensis and 
secretary. Francis called him, perhaps with a wilful opposi- 
tion to his name Leone (Uon), /rate pecoretta di Dio, ''Brother 
little lamb of God." 

It was together with him that Frands — according to the 
PiareUi — was once in a place where they had no Breviary 
to pray out of. So as to spend the time in praising God, 
Francis proposed the following part-prayer: "I shall first 
say, ' O Brother Francis, you have done so much ill and com- 
mitted so many sins here in the world, that you are worthy 
to go to heU. And to this you must answer: ' Yes, it is true 
that you deserve the deepest hell.'" 

And blithe as a dove Brother Leo answered: "Willingly, 
Father. Let us begin in the name of God!" 

Then Frands began to say, "O Brother Frands, thou hast 

^Spec, perf.t capp. LVI-LVII. Celano, Vila secunda, HI, iso. The village 
where Francis met the simple Brother John is called Nottiano, and b about 
three hours east of Assisi; the tale still lives in the mouths of the people as it 
18 told here. Not far ofF, near a place called Le Coste, is seen a cave in which 
Francis is supposed to have dwelt. (Le Specckio di per/., Assisi, 1899, P- i^i*) 


done so much evil and committed so many sins here in the 
world that thou art worthy to go to hell." And Brother 
Leo answered, " God will do so much good through thee that 
thou shalt come into paradise." Then Francis answered: 
** Do not say that, Brother Leo, but when I now say, * Brother 
Francis, thou hast done so much wrong before God that thou 
art worthy to be damned!' then answer thus: 'Thou art 
certainly worthy to come among the damned!'" 
And Brother Leo answered, "Willingly, Father!" 
Then Frand$ began to sigh and groan and beat his breast, 
and said in a loud voice, '^O Lord, God of heaven and earth, 
I have committed such wrong against thee and so many sins 
that I am worthy to be damned by thee." And Brother 
Leo answered, ''O Brother Frauds, God will do such things 
with thee that thou shalt be happy before all the Blest." 
But Frauds wondered why Brother Leo was so set in not 
answering as he had been told to, and he scolded him for 
it, saying: ''Why dost thou not answer as I told thee to? In 
the name of holy obedience I order thee to answer as I 
now will teach thee. Thus I say: ' O thou bad Frauds, dost 
thou think that God will have pity on thee, that hast 
committed so many sms against the Father of mercy and 
God of comfort, that thou in no way art worthy to find 
mercy?' And thou Brother Leo, God's little lamb, answer: 
* Thou art in no way worthy to find mercy I ' " But as Frauds 
said after this, " O thou bad Frauds," etc.. Brother Leo 
answered him, "The Father God, whose mercy is infinitely 
greater than thy transgressions, will show thee great mercy 
and will moreover manifest to thee much favor." Over this 
answer Frands was very angry and a little carried away, and 
he said to Brother Leo: "Why hast thou fallen so as to 
show thyself disobedient? Now thou hast so many times 
answered the opposite of what I told thee." But Brother 
Leo humbly and reverentially answered, " God knows, Father, 
that every time I have wL^ed to answer thee as thou com- 
mandest me to; but God forced me to speak as it pleased 
him, and not as it pleased me." Francis wondered greatly 
over this, and said to Brother Leo, "I pray thee in char- 
ity to answer me this time as I have told thee." Brother 


Leo replied, ^^In God's name I will certainly answer every 
time as thou wishest it." And with tears, Francis now said, 
'^O thou wicked Brother Francis, dost thou believe that God 
can have mercy upon thee?" Brother Leo answered: "Thou 
shalt have great favors from God, and he shall raise thee 
up and glorify thee for all eternity, for he who lowers himself 
shall be exalted; and I cannot say anything else, for God is 
speaking through my mouth." 

It was also in company with Brother Leo that Francis — 
always according to the FiareUi — went one winter day from 
Perugia to Portiuncula, and the great cold a£fected them 
severely. And Frauds caUed to Brother Leo, who went 
ahead, and spoke thus to him, "Brother Leo, even if we 
Brothers over the whole earth give good examples of holiness 
and edification, mark it well and write it down, that in that 
is not the perfect happiness." 

And Francis went a little further, and he called a second 
time and said: "O Brother Leo, even if we Brothers gave the 
blind their sight again, cured the lame, drove out devils, 
made the deaf to hear, the cripples to walk, the dumb to talk, 
and, what is still more, woke the dead after four days had 
passed, mark thou, that in that there is not perfect happiness." 

And he went on a little and called out loudly: "O Brother 
Leo, even if we Brothers spoke all tongues and knew all 
wisdom and the whole of the Scriptures, and were able to 
reveal the future and the secrets of the heart, so mark thou, 
that in that there is not perfect happiness." 

And Francis went on a piece more and then called with a 
high voice: "O Brother Leo, thou God's little lamb, even if 
we Brothers spoke with the tongues of angels and knew the 
courses of the stars and the powers of herbs, and all the 
treasures of the earth were revealed to us, and all the virtues 
and powers of birds and beasts and fishes and also the proper- 
ties of mankind and of trees and stones and roots and water, 
nmrk thou this still, that in that there is not perfect happi- 

And Francis went on a little further, and then said with a 
loud voice: "O Brother Leo, even if we Brothers knew how 
to preach so that all the faithless would be converted to the 


faith of Christ, mark thou still, that in that there is not perfect 

And thus he talked for more than half the way. But at 
last Brother Leo said with much wonder, '' Father, I beg 
thee for God's sake to tell me where perfect happiness can 
be found.'' And Francis answered him: 

''When we come to Portiuncula and are wet through with 
rain, and frozen with cold, and dirty with the mud of the road, 
and overcome with hunger, and we knock on the convent 
door, and the porter comes and is angry and says, * Who are 
you?' and we 'say, 'We are two of thy Brothers,' and he 
says: 'You do not speak the truth, but are two highway 
robbers who go about and deceive people and steal alms 
from the poor; away with you!' When he speaks thus and 
will not open the door for us, but lets us stand out in the cold 
and snow and water and hunger, and the night falls, and 
when we endure such abusive words and such a wickedness 
and such treatment, and endure it without becoming angry 
and without quarrelling with him, and when we instead think 
in humility and love that the porter knows us as we really are, 
and that if is God who lets him talk against us — O Brother 
Leo, mark thou, that is perfect happiness I 

"And if we keep on knocking, and he comes out and is 
angry and treats us like a pair of thieves and hunts us away 
with evil words and with ear-boxing, and says to- us, ' Get 
out, ye shameless rascals, go to the lepers, here you will find 
neither food nor lodging!' and we bear this too with patience 
and cheerfulness and charity — O Brother Leo, mark thou, 
that therein is perfect happiness. 

" And if we, driven by cold and hunger and by the night, 
knock again and beg him with bitter tears that he for God's 
sake will let us in, if only across the threshold, and he gets 
still more angry and says, 'You are certainly shameless vaga- 
bonds, but now you will get your deserts,' and he runs out 
with a knotted stick, and seizes us by the hoods and throws 
us to the ground and rolls us in the snow and nearly kills us 
with the stick; and if we endure all this so patiently, and 
think of the sufferings of Christ, the All-praised One, and 
of how much we ought to suffer for the sake of our love of 


him — O Brother Leo, mark thou, that in this is perfect 

"Now hear the end of all this. Brother Leo! More than 
all grace and all the gifts of the Holy Ghost, which Christ 
vouchsafes to his friends, is the conquering of yourself and 
the willing endurance of suffering, injustice, contempt and 
harshness. For of the other gifts of God, we cannot take 
any credit to ourselves, for they are not ours but come from 
God; so that the Apostle says: 'What hast thou that thou 
hast not received? But after you have received it, why do 
you take credit for it, as if you had it of yourselves?' But 
of trials and sufferings and crosses we can take the credit to 
ourselves: therefore the Apostle also says, 'I will take credit 
for nothing except for the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. ' " ^ 

Ernest Renan has justly said that since the time of the 
Apostles there has never been a more powerful attempt to 
put the gospel into practice than in the movement started by 
Francis. It is no wonder then one night in a vision a pious 
man thought that he saw all men who were alive in the world, 
stand like blind people around Portiuncula and, with folded 
hands and faces lifted to heaven, call to God to give them 
back their sight, and as they stood thus the heavens opened, 
and a great light fell upon Portiuncula, and all who stood 
about it and who had been blind, opened their eyes and saw 
the light of salvation.* 

> PioreUi, cap. IX and cap. VIII (which last seems to be a further deveiop- 
meat of the fifth of the AdmonUianes, which Francis had written; Opuscula^ 
Qiiaracchi* igo4, pp. 8-9). See further, Chron,XXIV gen, (Anal. Franc,, III, 
pp. 65 et seq.) Br. Leo died November 14 or 15, 1271 (Wadding, 1371, nn. 7 et 

* Tres SccU, cap. XIII, n. 56. Celaoo, VUa see,, 1, 13. 


^\ ^^T YjdlLE men sometimes must be satisfied to repre- 
\ /m / ^^^ theory, practice, often outside of all theory, 

y Y is the vocation of woman. No one ever realizes 
more fully a man's ideal than a woman, once 
she is possessed by it 

This must not be taken to intimate that Francis of Assisi 
did not put into practice the gospel which he preached — on 
the contrary I But if one wishes to see the Franciscan life 
in a form free from all enforced additions and unfavorable 
foreign influences, one must above all others tiun to his great 
female disdple, St. Clara of Assisi. She was accustomed to 
call herself Brother Francis' Plant.^ She is really the flower 
of Franciscanism, and he who visits the places where she has 
lived, inhales even after seven himdred years have gone the 
singularly pure and heart-gripping perfume of this flower. 

Clara was bom in Assisi in 1194, probably on July 11. Her 
father was Favorini dd Sdfi, her mother Ortolana of the 
Fiumi family, belonging in Sterpeto. The family was noble 
on both sides, and the Sdfi belonged to the most prominent 
family in Assisi.* Favorino bore the title of Count of Sasso- 
Rosso, the name of the cliff that rises over Assisi: his forti- 
fied palace is still shown to visitors, near the Porta Vecchia, 
not far from the church of St. Clara.* Ortolana gave him 

: w 

^'' Clara indigna andlla Christi et plantula beatiaaimi patriB Frandad. 
Reg, S. Clarae^ cap. I {Textus origmaUs, Quaraccki, 1897, p. 53). 

* "Fiater Rufinus QpU . . . de nobilioribis dvibus Asiiasfi, oooaangumeus 
S. Clane." (Atud. Pram., Ill, 46.) 

*This statement I have taken from Locatdi's Biography of St Cbira; 
unfortunatdy I have only been able to use this work in a Frendi translation 
(St, Claire d^ Assise^ Rome, 1899-1900), as the original Italian work is not 
obtainable (Kite hreot di 5. Ckiara, Assisi, 1882). Other sources for the life of 
St. Clara are the following: 

Her testament: published by the BoUandists in the second August volume 


PluU: C. CattBlwH 



{Axribtd la CimabiM. Fresco m Cburcb of Santa Cbiam, Assist' 



five children — a son, Boso, and four daughters, Penenda, 
Clara, Agnes and Beatrice. 

It is told of Qrtolana that she was a good and pious child, 
and among other things had undertaken such dangerous and 
prolonged pilgrimages as to the Holy Land, to Ban, and to 
Rome. Shortly before Clara was bom, she is said to have 
received in prayer the promise of God that the child she was 
to bear would be a light for the whole world. As a sequence 
thereof the child was given in baptism the name Clara, the 
bright; in metaphorical rendering, the celebrated one. 

Clara grew up in her home surrounded by the prosperity 
and order which are so favorable for the development of a 
sure and reasonable fear of God. Moral disorder leads 
almost invariably to poverty, while th^ fear of God is ^'useful 
for all things," and ''has also promises for this life." It is 
not only in our days that the answer to the question, ''How 
shall I get on in the world?" has been, "Fear God and keep 
his commandments." For up to a certain degree it is also 
true what the apologists evidently push too far, when they 
adduce, as a proof of the superiority of a religion, the statis- 
tics of its millionaires. 

Little Clara at a very young age went far beyond the usual 
degree of piety. A favorite reading in her time was the 
stories of the lives of the old ascetics — Vitae patrum. Ap- 
parently Clara h^d made early acquaintance with these leg- 
ends: in any case, we read of her that she as a little girl 
greatly longed to wear a garment of horsehair, and that she, 

ci the Ada Sanctorum, pp. 747 et seq., and by the Frandacans of Quaracchi 
in Textus originales (Quanicchi, 1897), pp. 373 et aeq. 

Alexander IV's BuU of Canonization Gara darts of September 26, 1255, A, 
SS, Aug. II, pp. 749 et aeq. 

Her Biography written by Messer Bartholomew, Bishop of Spoleto, in 
odlaboration with Brother Leo and Brother Angelo of Rieti and revised for 
st]^ by Thomas oi Celano, to whom also the preface is due. It is printed by 
the BoOandbts as above, pp. 754 et seq. See Cozza Luzi: // Codke maglia- 
becckiano tuUa Storia di S, Ckiara in the BoUeHno ddla Socidd Umbra di Storia 
Pairia, I (Perugia, 1895), pp. 4x7-426. 

Her four letters to Agnes of Bohemia, printed mA.SS., March I, pp. 506-508, 
the first also (and from a better numuscript) in Anal. Franc,, HI, p. 183, n. 7. 

Several places in the biographies of St. Francis. 

Letters to her from her sister Agnes, from Cardinal Hugolia (Wadding, 
laai; AnaUda Franc., JH, pp. 175-177 and p. 183.) 


just as the hermit Paul of Pherme in Historia Lausiaca^ 
daily recited a great niunber of prayers which she kept count 
of with the help of little stones. While she thus did penance 
herself, she was, like all the pious of the Middle Ages, very 
zealous in giving to the poor. 

Thus Clara grew up and became strong and beautiful. 
At the age of fifteen years she had her first suitor and one 
pleasing in the highest degree to her parents. When they 
spoke to their daughter about him, they met to their surprise 
a certain resistance. Clara woiUd not hear of marrying, and 
when her mother pressed her for a reason, the daughter ad- 
mitted that she had consecrated herself to God and wanted 
nothing of any man. 

This was more piety than Favorino and Ortolana had 
counted on. The regular, everyday Christianity had — in the 
Middle Ages just as in our days — a great disUke for all that 
seemed to be "too much of religion." Over and over again 
we are witnesses in the history of those times of the bitter 
disputes which father and mother carried on with sons and 
daughters whose fear of God seemed to them to go beyond 
the proper bounds of a good citizenship.^ 

The sixteen year old Clara must now fight this battle, but 
she had the good fortune not to be without support in the 
contest. It was at this precise time that Francis, whose 
conversicm had attracted such attention in Assisi, was le- 

^ Thus we read in Feo Belcari's ViU d^akuni GestuUi the highly characteristic 
chapter XXIV. A young man in Arezzo, by name Donato, entered a convent 
of the Jesuati's Order, but was taken to his home by his family by force. Here 
his father locked him up in a room and for the sake of greater safety tied one 
leg to the wall. The son, however, remained true to his project, although 
father and brothers took away his Order's habit and gave him ordinary clothes; 
''You can change my clothes, not my heart," said he. Then the father sent 
a bad woman to him, who with word and oMt e scoprimenH vergognosi tried to 
mislead him; he however struck her in the face, while he called her a sow and a 
devil. The father then arranged with a young girl of a good family and wanted 
to marry his son to her, but the son said " no *' before the notary, and there 
was no marriage. Then the father sent five lusty fellows to Donato, who 
started to eat and drink, sing and play and invited him to join them. Then 
the young man began to weep, because he saw how determined his father was 
to destroy him, and he knelt down and begged God to take him away. And 
God sent a fever which in the course of a few days ended the young man's 
ilfe; "with great joy and cheerfulness" he met his end. (Belcari: Prose ed. 
Gigll, n, Rome, 2843, PP- zo6 et seq. See also cap. XXI in the same work.) 


tuming from Rome with the Papal pennission to preach, and 
now moimted the pulpit in San Rufino, a few steps from the 
Sdfi palace. Here and in S. Giorgio's church Clara heard 
him speak, and from the first moment she saw him, was con- 
vinced that such a life as he led was to be hers, and that it 
was the will of God. The two Friars Minor, Rufino and 
Silvester, who were both of her family, paved the way for her, 
and followed by a female relative, to whom tradition has 
given the name Bona Guelfucd, she sought Francis and laid 
open her heart to him.^ 

Francis had already heard the rumors about Clara, and 
wished, as the legend says, " to rob the bad world of so noble 
a booty, and enrich his Lord therewith." He advised her, 
therefore, openly to despise the world, its vanity and perish- 
ability, not to yield to the wishes of her parents in the matter 
of her marriage, but to keep her body as a temple for God 
alone, and not to have any bridegroom but Christ.' 

From now on Francis was Clara's spiritual guide, and under 
his direction she was seized by a stronger and stronger desire 
to take the final step, and let all things go that did not purely 
and entirely belong to the duty of man to his God. She could 
not see how it was any part of this obligation to give herself 
to a man because her parents wished it, and when she — it 
was in the Lent of 1212 — sat in St. George's church and 
heard Frauds from the pulpit ''speak so wonderfully of de- 
spising the world, of voluntary poverty, of pining after 
heaven, and of the nakedness of our crucified Lord Jesus 
Christ, and the insults and his most holy sufferings," * her 

^ Clara's family tree is thus given by Locatelli: 
Paolo Sdfi 


Favorino g. m. Ortulana Monaldo Paolo 

I L_ I 

BO0O Penenda Chkura Agnes Beatrice Boso Bemarducdo 

I I 

Silvestro Rufino 

M. 55., Aug. n, p. 755 {yUa, cap. I, nn. 5-6) and p. 749, n. 51 (Alexander 
IV's Bull). 

' PiartUi, cap. XXX. 


heart burned in her the moment she left with the desire to 
take off her elegant clothes, and to live like Jesus and like 
Frands in contentment, labor, prayer, peace and joy. 

At last her desire for the new life became so strong that 
she could not be any longer restrained, but must change the 
mode of existence she had hitherto followed. Francis set 
the night after Palm-Sunday as the time for her to '^ change 
the joys of this world for grief for the suffering of our Lord." 

Clara utilized this feast-day (March i8, 121 2) to say fare- 
well to the world in the most solemn manner. Wearing her 
richest dress she went with her mother and sisters to church; 
no one among the women and girls of Assisi were in such 
festive attire as the beautiful, fair-haired Clara Scifi on that 

On Palm-Sunday the church commemorates the entry of 
Christ into Jerusalem. Olive branches, which represent palm 
branches, are consecrated that day by the priest and are dis- 
tributed to the congregation, who go in procession through 
the church while the choir sings the beautiful old anthem: 
Pueri Hebrceorumy portanies ratnos olivarumj obviaveruni 
Domino y damatUes et dicentes: Bosanna in exceUist ^'With 
olive boughs in their hands the children of the Jews went 
out to meet the Lord, crying out and sajring: 'Glory be to 
God on high!*" 

As the distribution of the consecrated olive branches was 
in progress, and all who were in the church came forward 
to the altar rail to receive a branch from Bishop Guido, who 
said mass, there was only one who kept back, and this one 
was Clara Scifi. Her emotions, on thinking of the great step 
she was about to take, may well have overcome the young 
girl. Here in the same church she had knelt so many morn- 
ings in the past years at the side of her mother and of her 
small sisters, and heard mass with them, and never thought 
that it could be different. And now to-day it was for the last 
time. On this very day she was to say farewell to them 
for ever, without their knowledge, and the following evening 
was to be the last she would spend in the home of her 

^"in turba dominamm splendoie festivo puella pemdiant.'* Vita, cafk 
I, n. 7. 


childhood and youthful da3rs. The thought of her mother's 
tenderness, of her young sisters' channs, affection and con- 
fidence overcame Clara; all the many happy and strong 
bonds, which years weave unnoticed around those who grow 
up in the same home, in this solemn hour cut into and wounded 
her heart, and she wept like the woman she was, wept the 
tears the bride weeps when she leaves father and mother. • . . 

Bishop Guido saw her bowed head and sobbing form and 
understood her. It is probable that Francis had told him 
what was to take place. In any event, he took with fine 
sympathy the palm Clara had not taken, and brought it 
Idmself down to her in her place in the church. 

Clara carried her flight into effect the next night. Out of a 
back door which was blocked by a pile of wood, which she had 
to remove herself, she got out upon the street and, led by 
Bona Guelfucd, took the road to Portiuncula. The Francis- 
cans who had expected her went to meet her with torches, 
and soon she was kneeling before Our Lady's image in the 
little ch^>el, and gave to the world ''for love ot the most holy 
and loved Child Jesus, wrapped in poor rags in the manger," 
her letter of divorce which she had written long ago.* 
She gave her shining dress into the hands of the Brothers, 
and received in its place a rough woollen robe, such as the 
Brothers wore; she exchanged her jewelled belt for a common 
rope with knots upon it and, after her golden hair had fallen 
before the scissors which Francis plied, she let her high, stiff 
headdress lie upon the ground and covered her head instead 
with a tight black veil. Instead of her rich embroidered 
shoes which she had worn at the festival in the church, she 
put a pair of wooden sandals on her naked feet. She then 
took three vows of consecration, and promised, moreover, like 
the Brethren to obey Francis as her superior. After the 
change was over by which the high-bom Lady Clara Sdfi 
became Sister Clara, Francis took her the same night to the 
Benedictine Sisters' convent of St. Paul near the village of 

^"amore aanctisaimi et dilectiasimi pucri pauperculb panniculis involuti, 
in pazesepio redinati . . . moneo . . . sorores meas, ut vestimentis semper 
vilibus induantur." Reg, S. Clarae, cap. II, § 18. "Mox ibi rejectis sordibus 
Babyloab, mundo libeUum repudii tradidit." Vita S. Clarae^ I, 8. 


Isola Romanesca (now Bastia), where he had temporarily 
arranged for her reception. 

It could not naturally be long unknown what had become 
of Clara. Favormo and his relatives had quickly discovered 
her refuge, and presented themselves at the convent to induce 
her to return. But the eighteen year old girl was immovable 
— neither prayers nor flattery nor promises availed, and when 
the father and imcles proposed to use force, she clung to the 
altar in the church, as she threw her veil aside and showed her 
cropped hair. For many da}rs the family renewed their 
attempts to win back Chura, and Francis foimd it, at last, to 
be the wisest course to transfer her to another convent, 
Sant' Angelo in Panso, which also belonged to the Benedic- 
tine Sisters.^ 

Angry as Favorino had been, he now was more furious than 
ever, when his young daughter Agnes, sixteen days after 
Clara's flight, also left her home and went to Sant' Angelo to 
be there received into the Sisters' life. Of her he had had 
great hopes; she was engaged and the marriage already 
settled. And now she was taken also with the same madness! 
Wild with rage and indignation he asked his brother Monaldo 
to take twelve armed men and get Agnes back. 

The nuns in the convent of Sant' Angelo drew back alarmed 
from the weapons that confronted them and deserted Agnes. 
The young girl, scarcely more than a child, made a vigorous 
resistance and the men had to adopt strenuous measures. 
Blows and kicks were hailed upon her, they pulled her by the 
hair, and thus drew her out of the convent. ''Clara, Clara, 
come and help me I" the unhappy one cried in vain, as locks 
of her hair and bits of her clothes were left hanging on the 
bushes by the roadside. 

Clara was in her cell and asked God to help her in this 
hour of need. And then it suddenly came to pass that 
twelve strong men were unable to bring Agnes' body one inch 

^ According to Cristofani {Storia di S. DamianOy cap. X) the Church Seminary 
in Assist (Seminarium Serapkicum) occupies the same place as this convent. 
Locatelli thinks otherwise, that Sant' Angelo di Panzo was a mile outside of 
the city; then he identifies St Paul's Convent with a portion of the Convent 
d S. Apollinaris now in Assist. (5. CUdre d^ Assise, Rome 1S99-1900, pp. 40 
wad 42.) 


further. She became suddenly so heavy that she might have 
been of stone. The men pushed and pulled her, but in vain. 
''She has eaten lead the whole night/' said one of them, 
grinning. ''Yes, the nuns know what tastes good," answered 
another. But her uncle Monaldo became so furious over this 
unexpected obstacle, that he lifted his armored fist to crush 
with one blow the contumacious girl's head. But it came to 
pass that he too was petrified and stood powerless, with lifted 
but helpless arm. Meanwhile Clara came to the scene, and 
the half-dead Agnes was abandoned to her. The family 
made no further attempt to prevent the two young girls from 
foUowing their vocation; later the third sister Beatrice joined 
them, and after Favorino's death, Ortolana also.^ 

The convent of Sant' Angelo could in the nature of things 
be (mly a temporary abode for Clara and Agnes. They were 
not Benedictines, did not wear the Benedictine habit, and 
did not follow the Rule of St. Benedict. Francis, in order to 
find a convent for them, sought his old benefactors, the 
Camaldolites of Monte Subasio, and who could paint his joy 
when these monks, who had already given him Portiuncula 
and who on April 22, 121 2 had given to the city of Assisi the 
ancient temple of Minerva, changed into a Mary-church, as 
it is still seen on the dty market-place, now showed them- 
selves willing to give him San Damiano and the little convent 
belonging to the church. With ''some few sisters"' Clara 
took possession of the building, within whose walls she for 
forty-one years — as her biographer says — "with the blows 
of the scourge of penance should break open the alabaster 
vase of her body, so that the whole Church was filled with her 
soul's perfume."* 

For here it is that the life of prayer and labor, of poverty 
and joy, which I have called the flower of Frandscanism, 
unfolded itself. The example which Clara had given worked 
in a wide circle. There seems to have been among women in 
that time a desire, Ijdng torpid, for a life above the plane of 
the senses, which is so well symbolized by the white waUs of 

* Viia S. Clarae, HI, 34-^6, and V, 45* Anal. Franc., m, 175. 

* Tesi. S. Garae in Texhis arigindes, p. 375. 

* Vita, I, 9. BuU Clara darts, n. 5a 



the cloister.^ Maidens who were not yet bound to the world 
hastened to San Damiano to live there with her; those whose 
attachment to their families did not permit this, sought in 
secrecy to live as much of a convent life as possible. Noble 
ladies devoted their dowries to the building of cloisters, into 
which they themselves entered in sackcloth and ashes to do 
penance for their past lives. Marriage was no impediment, 
for man and wife went each to his own — the man to Francis 
and the woman to Clara.* 

The conditions of entrance into San Damiano were the 
same as for the entrance into Portiuncula — to give all 
possessions to the poor. The convent could take nothing — 
that must always be ^'the fortified tower of the highest 
poverty/' as Clara^ with a warlike turn in the ^irit of the 
time, expresses it.' The life of the Sisters was the same as 
that of the Brothers — work and beggmg. While some re* 
mained at home and worked, others went out and begged 
from door to door.^ 

Almost all the paragrahs of the forma Vivendi^ the rule 
of life which Francis now wrote for the Sisters, are devoted 
to these few points, whose principal contents were the 
obligation to evangelical poverty.* Apparently by the inter- 
mediation of Francis, Innocent III gave his approval to this 
Rule, even more formally than he had approved the Brothers' 
Rule. As Clara first in 1215, by Frauds' express command, 
took the position as abbess in San Damiano,* it is not too 
bold an hypothesis to place the Pope's approval of the Sisters' 
Rule in this year. Hitherto Francis had been able to be the 
head of both Orders and their leader, but before Rome Clara 
had to stand as the Superior of the Sisters, just as Francis 
of the Brothers. Innocent III is said to have written with 

* See for example Celano, Vita secmiia^ 11, 7. 

* VUa, n, xo-ii. Rtg. S. Qarae, U, 3. 

* Viia, n, 13. 

* See the acooimt m Viia^ U, 12, of "famukrum defotis levcrte&tium'* and 
of the reception Clara gave than (she took their feet and kissed them), quite 
analogous to Frands' treatment d the begging Brothers (see for example Sptc 
perf., cap. XXV). It was not until hter, when the Oares became an Older 
with fuU ckMster, that they had male demasymim (Fsto, V, 37.) 

* Test. S. Clatm, xo-xx (TeaOus onpmdes^ p. 376). 

* Fite, //, xs. 


his own hand the first lines of the remarkable pritUegium 
paupertaHs — so different from the privileges for which courts 
are usually importuned — by which he accords to Clara and 
her Sisters the right to be and to remain poor.^ 

As Clara shared Francis' feeling about poverty as the 
foundation of Christian perfection, in conformity with the 
words ''you cannot serve God and Mammon/'* so did she also 
share Frands' ideas about work. In spite of her dignity as 
abbess, it was she who most often served at table, poured 
water over the other Sisters' hands, and waited upon them. 
Rather than ask others to do for her, she would do things for 
herself. She personaUy took care of the sick and drew back 
from no work, however repugnant. When the other Sisters 
came home from outside the convent, it was Clara who would 
wash their feet. At night she would get up and put the 
covering on the Sisters who had uncovered themselves in 
sleep and were liable to become chilled. Francis often sent 
sick and weak people to San Damiano, where Clara took care 
of them and sometimes cxured them. When it was she who 
was sick, she would not stop working; as soon as it was possi- 
ble, she would sit up in bed with a cushion behind her back 
and embroider altar raiment. Thus she made — in Francis' 
own spirit — over fifty pairs of altar-cloths, of the kind 
called corporals, and sent them, laid into silk envelopes, to 
the churches upon the moimtains and on the plain.* 

As she surpassed the other Sisters by her good example 
in her work, so was it also in her religious life. When com- 
plines, the last prayer for the day in the Breviary, was over, 
Clara stayed long before the crucifix, the same whose v<^ice 
Francis had heard, and before the little flame, which in all 
Catholic churches bums night and day in the perpetual lamp 

^ VUa^ II, 14. Francis was in Rome in 1315. 

* See her first letter to Agnes of Bohemia (A. SS., March I, p. 506, and Anal. 
Frame., HI, p. iB$, n. 7. Hie last text, after Nic. Glasabeiger's copy of 1491 
of the Ckran. XXIV gen., is far the best). 

' Vita, capp. IV-V. CarparaU is the name of the linen doth upon which 
the host lies during and after the consecration in the Mass. 

After the stigmatization of ^Francis it was Clara who prepared a pair d 
specially arranged shoes, which made it possible for him to walk upon his per- 
fofated feet; she also saw to providing bandages for his wounds. Wadding, 
1124, n. 3. A. SS., Aug. n, p. 746. 


before the sacrament of the altar. Here she gave herself 
up to the sympathetic contemplation of the sufferings of the 
Saviour, here she prayed the "Cruds Offidum," the prayers 
in honor of the Cross of Christ, which Francis had arranged and 
taught her. But notwithstanding all this, she was up in the 
morning before all the others, herself waked the Sisters, lit 
the lamps, and rang the bell for early mass. 

At the same time she did not spare her body, which by 
nature was full-blooded and strong. Her bed was in the first 
period in San Damiano a bundle of vine twigs, her pillow a 
log of wood. Later she lay upon leather with an uncomfort- 
able pillow imder her head, and finally, by Frands' express 
command, upon a sack of straw. He it was also who forbade 
her, in Lent and on St. Martin's fast, to eat only on three 
weekdays, and th^.n only bread and water, a custom she had 
originally started. He had Bishop Guido order her, as a 
matter of duty, to eat daily at least one and a half ounces of 
bread. It was perhaps on account of the prohibition of this 
severe fasting that, in compensation, she for a while wore a 
garment of pig's skin, with the bristles inside, which garment 
she later exchanged for a penitential belt of hair-cloth.^ 

When she returned from church, after having prayed there 
for a long time, her face seemed to shine, and the words she 
spoke were full of joy. Once she was so seized by the sig- 
nificance of the holy water as a symbol of the blood of Christ, 
that she sprinkled the Sisters with it all day and pleadingly 
exhorted them never to forget the rivers of salvation that 
flowed from the wounds of Christ.* One Maundy Thursday 
evening she was absorbed in spirit and could not be waked 
for twenty-four hours. "Why are the lights still burning?" 
she asked, as she awoke, "is it not yet day?" One Christ- 
mas night she lay sick and could not follow the other Sisters 
to church, but heard in her bed the whole divine service in 
the convent church of S. Francesco, and saw the Child Jesus 
in the Christmas crib there.' 

» Viia, capp. m-IV. Bun Clara darts, n. 54 (i4. 55., Aug. 11, p. 750). 
'Wadding, 1251, n. 14. A. 55., Aug. II, p. 746, n. 36. 
' Viia, cap. IV. There is half an hour's mJk between S. Damiaao and 
the diurch of S. Francesco. 


It could be no secret to Francis in how high a degree he was 
an object of admiration to Clara and the other Sisters, and that 
a part of their religious feeling was intertwined with his per- 
sonality. To turn the Sisters from this and direct their hearts 
to God alone, he imperceptibly, yet in adequate degree, with- 
drew into the background. His visits to San Damiano, which 
at first had been frequent, became little by little of rare occur- 
rence. This action at last attracted the attention of his disciples 
and they assigned, as a reason for it, a lack of kindness to the 
Sisters. Francis explained to them his reason — that he did 
not wish to stand between them and Christ. For no consid- 
eration would he encourage the purely personal devotion to 
the priest or individual.^ 

Chice he had agreed to come to San Damiano and preach. 
Clara was greatly devoted to sermons; when Pope Gregory 
IX at a subsequent time wished to prohibit the Franciscans 
from preaching in this convent, she impeded this prohibition 
by sending the Brothers away also, who, after the closure 
was in force at San Damiano about 12 19, went from door to 
door and begged for the Sisters. ''If we have to go with- 
out spiritual bread, we can even go without bodily bread 
also," she declared, and the Pope was obliged to take off his 

Now Francis had permission to go to the Sisters and preach, 
and all were glad, not only at hearing God's word, but also at 
seeing their spiritual father and guide.* Francis entered the 
church and stood a while with uplifted eyes, absorbed in prayer. 
Then he turned to some of the Sisters, who were serving in 
the sacristy, and asked for some ashes. When the ashes were 
brought, Francis made a circle with them around himself, and 
what was left over he strewed upon his own head. Then only 
did he break the silence, not to preach, but only to recite 
the fiftieth Psalm of David, the great penitential Psalm Mise- 
rere. When he had said it to the end, he went quickly away 

' "Non credatis, charissimi, quod eas perfecte non diligam. Si enlm magnum 
esset eas in Christo fovere, nonne nutius fuisset eas Christo junxisse?'' Celano, 
VUa sec,, m, 132. Compare Cel., V. pr., I, 8, and V, sec,, m, 133-134. 

• Kfto, V, 37. 

* "Congregads autem dominabus ex more, ut verbum Dd audiient, aed noQ 
minus ut patrem viderent" Cd., V. sec., HI, 134. 


— he had taught the Sisters to see in him nothing but a poor 
sinner in sackcloth and ashes. 

To the same order of thought may the tale be referred, 
which is preserved for us in the FioreUi^^ of ''how St. Clara eat 
with St. Francis and his Brothers in Santa Maria degli Angeli." 
It reads thus: 

"When St. Francis was in Assisi, he several times visited St. 
Clara and gave her many salutary admonitions. And she 
had so strong a desire to eat with him, and asked him so many 
times about it, but he would not grant her the favor. But 
the Brothers, who had knowledge of this desire of St. Clara, 
said to St. Francis: 'Father, it seems to us, that this thy 
strictness is not after the divine precept of charity, that thou 
wilt not yield to St. Clara, who is so holy and pleasing to God, 
jn so little a thing as it is to eat together with thee; especially 
when thou thinkest that she on account of thy preaching has 
left the kingdom and glory of the world. And even if she 
asked for a greater favor than this is, thou shouldst give it, 
for she is thy spiritual plant.' Then St. Francis replied, 
'You think then that I should accede to her?' His Brothers 
answered, 'Yes, father, we think that thou owest her this 
favor and comfort!' Then St. Francis said: 'Since it seems 
so to you, it seems so to me. But for her greater comfort I 
will have this meal occur in Santa Maria degli Angeli here; 
as she has been long shut up in San Damiano, it will please 
and strengthen her to see Santa Maria, where her hair was 
cut off, and where she was betrothed to Jesus Christ, and there 
we will eat together in God's name.' 

"And when the day for the meal came St. Clara left her 
convent with a companion and was taken by the Brothers to 
Santa Maria degli Angeli. And she made a devout reverence 
before the altar of the Virgin Mary, where her hair had been 
cut off, and where she had taken the veil, and then they took 
her around to see the convent, until the meal should be served. 
And meanwhile St. Francis had the table laid upon the naked 
earth, as was his custom. And when meal-time came, St. 
Francis and St. Clara sat down together, and one of the 
Brothers with the companion of St. Clara, and next all the 

^ Cap. XV. It is also found, later inserted, in Clara's Vita (V, 39-42)* 




other Brothers, and they humbly took their places at the table. 
And with the first dish St. Francis began to talk of God so 
lovingly, with such depth, so wonderfully, that the divine 
fullness of love descended upon him, and all were enraptured 
in God. And while they were thus transported with eyes 
and hands lifted towards heaven, the people in Assbi and 
Bettona and in the other neighboring towns saw that Santa 
Maria degli Angeli and the whole convent and woods, which 
then were at the side of the convent, seemed to be in a great 
blaze. And it looked as if there was a great conflagration, 
both in the church and convent and woods. And people from 
Assisi came running down there in haste to put out the fire, for 
they really believed that everything was on fire. But when 
they came to the convent and saw that there was no fire, 
they went in and found St. Francis and St. Clara and all the 
others transported unto God around the poorly furnished table. 
Then they understood that there had been a divine fire and 
no material one, when God had let Himself be seen there as a 
token to indicate and reveal the divine fire of love, with which 
the souls of the Brothers and Sisters were inflamed, and they 
went away with great comfort in their hearts and with great 

If Clara thus showed herself before Francis as the weak 
woman, who was one that longed for comfort and encourage- 
ment, ^e was in her relations to the Sisters the strong womani 
the one who protected and defended the others. It was not 
for nothing that she was of old warrior blood. 

This was seen <m the two occasions when San Damiano was 
besi^ed by Frederick II's soldiers. During his war with the 
Pope this ruler had made an incursion into the Papal States, 
and had, with some degree of cunning, used his Mussulman 
archers, to whom the Papal excommunication was an object 
of indifference. From the elevated mountain fortification, 
Nocera, only a few miles from Assisi, these Saracens had darted 
out "Uke wasps" down over the valley of Spoleto and one 
fine day they attacked also the convent of San Damiano.^ If 
the Mussulmen entered, the Sisters had not only death to fear, 
but also dishonor; they gathered trembling around Clara, 

^ "Sancenonim aagittarianim fimnina vdut apnrn'* (F«fa, m, ax). 


who — as SO often — lay sick. Without losing courage sk 
had herself carried to the locked door, so as to be the first wht 
would be exposed to the danger. Next she had the silver 
and ivory dborium brought from the church, in which the 
sacrament of the altar in the form of bread was preserved, 
and sank down in prayer to the Saviour. It then seemed 
to her that from the dborium a voice issued, ''like a child's/' 
and this voice said, ''I will always be your guardian." 
Strengthened and confident she rose from her prayers, and 
soon after the Saracens gave up the attack and went 

In another way Clara showed her indomitable spirit. When 
in 1220 the news reached Italy of the death of the first five 
Franciscan maxtyrs in Morocco, Clara was so inspired that 
she wanted also to go to the heathen to su£fer martyrdom with 
her Sisters, and only an express prohibition of Frauds pre- 
vented her from carrying out this plan.' Perhaps it was in the 
war she waged with the Pope himself that she might remain 
true to her vow of poverty that she showed herself most 
inflexible and most hermc. Over and over again her good 
friend HugoUn, who in 1227 became Pope with the name 
Gregory IX, sought with the best intentions to force upon 
her and her convent some property, on which they could 
Hve in peace and quiet like other nuns. She steadfastly 
refused, and he said that, if it was only for the sake of the 
promise she had made, he had power to rdease her from 
it. "Holy Father," was her answer, "free me from my 
sins, but not from following our Lord Christ!"' Two days 
before her death she obtained from Innocent IV the per- 

^'' Vox quasi puerofi ad ejus auresinsonuit . . . Ego vos semper custodiam.'' 
Viia, niy 22. It is in reference to this event, which occurred in 1230, that 
Clara is often represented with a monstrance in her hand. The legend has 
since adorned the event. To-day,oathewaUsof S. DamlanOythereistobeseena 
half-obliterated fresco, that shows the frightened Saracens, who are thrown down 
from their storming ladders, as Clara meets them with the sacrament Four 
years later (June 22, 1234) the troops of Frederick, this time under Vitale 
d'Aversa, were in a similar manner prevented not only from entering S. Damiano 
but also the dty itself; the day is still oelelvated in Assisi as a national festival. 

* Wadding, 1251, n. 14. A. SS,, Aug. 11, p. 746. 

* VHa, n, 15. Innocent IV's Bull, Ckm darts {A. SS,, Aug. 11, p. 750, 
^- 55). 


petual ratificatxm of the light of her and her Sisters to be 
and to remam poor.^ 

Unlike Frands, and in spite of the austere life she led, Clara 
lived to an old age; she died in her sixtieth year, after forty- 
one years of oonvent life. In that time one great sorrow had 
reached her; this was Frands' death in 1226. As he lay at 
the last in the fittle poor sick-cell down back of Portiuncula, 
a message came from Clara that she wished to see him once 
more. But St. Francis sent word bad^ and said to one of the 
Brothers: ''Go and say to Sister Clara to give up all trouble. 
Now she cannot see me, but she must know this for certain, 
that before her death both she and the Sisters shall see me and 
take great comfort therefrom.^' 

And then Francis died. But the day after his death the 
dtizens of Assisi came and took his lifeless body and, along 
with the Brothers, carried it up to Assisi with hymns and songs 
of praise, with the blare of trumpets, and with olive-branches 
and Ughted candles in their hands. And in the early October 
morning, as the violet mist still lay on the plain like a mighty 
sea, they ascended the sunlit hdght by San Damiano, the 
funeral escort stopped, and the bier with the lifdess body was 
taken into the church, so near to the grated window of the 
Sisters that they could see their dead spiritual father for the 
last time. ''And after the grating through which the maid- 
servants of the Lord were wont to recdve the sacred host and 
to hear the word of God was passed by, the Brothers lifted 
this holy body up from the bier and held it in thdr raised arms 
in front of the window, so long a time as My Lady Clara and 
the other Sisters wished it, for their comfort," the Speculum 
perfectianis teUs us.' The little church now echoed the notes 
of sorrow and farewell, of grief and woe, for "who would not 
be moved to tears," says Thomas of Cdano, "when even the 
angels of peace wept so bitterly ? " . . • 

Years passed, and Clara stiU lived. Francis was gone, but 
his near friends, Leo, Angeb, Brother Jumper, came fre- 

^Tbt BuH Sola annuere of August 9, 1253. C3a» died August xz, 
1353- In a later section the interesting but involved question of the develop- 
ment of the Rule of the Qares will be treated in connection with the history of 
the Rule of the Franciscans. 

* Cap. Z08. Compare Cdano, Vita pr., II, cap. X. 


quently to San DamianOy and, together with them, Clara 
buried herself in memories of the time when the master still 
lived. Also Brother Giles, who otherwise always — as Ber- 
nard of Quintavalle tells us — "sat in his cell Uke a maiden 
in her room/' gave Clara now and then a visit, and it was 
during one of these that the following real Franciscan trait 

An English Franciscan, who was a Doctor of Theology^ 
stood in the pulpit in San Damiano and gave a sermon which, 
with all his learning, seems to have been very dlEFerent from 
the words that used to be heard from this place out of the 
mouth of Francis of Assisi. All felt it, and suddenly Brother 
Giles raised his voice and called out, "Be still, Master, and I 
will preach! '* The English Doctor stopped ^)eaking and 
Giles b^;an, "in the heat of the Spirit of God" says the old 
]^;end. Then he resigned the pulpit to the fordgn preacher 
again, and the latter continued. But Clara rejoiced over this, 
she said, more than if she had seen the dead brought to life 
again, "for this was what our most holy father, Francis, 
wanted, that a Doctor of Theology should have enough 
humility to be silent, when a Lay-Brother wished to speak in 
his stead.''' 

The time came at last when the call of death was heard also 
by St. Clara. For all of twenty-eight years she had been 
more or less a victim of sickness, and in the fall of 1 252 she felt 
that her death was near. But as yet her life's work was incom- 
plete — she had not obtained the final, unrestricted ratifica- 
tion of her privilege of poverty. 

Exactiy at this time Innocent IV returned from Lyons, 
whither he had fled before the army of Frederick n. The 
excommunicated Emperor died in 1250 in Fiorenzuola, and 
in September, 1252, the Pope took up his residence in Perugia. 
As soon as the Papal court came to rest in the Umbrian capi- 
tal, the Sisters' well-wisher and protector, Cardinal Raynald, 
later Pope Alexander IV, visited San Damiano. Here he 
gave Clara the sacrament of the altar, and she begged him 
imploringly to obtain the ratification of the privilq;e from 
the Pope. 

iil.55.,Apriim,p.339- F«toif»/r.£cN<^(Belcaii),cipp.XnaiidLVin. 


The Pope came with his court the next year to Assisi. He 
visited Clara on her sick-bed, and when she, as is the custom, 
wanted to kiss his foot, he set it on a stool so that she could do 
what she wished. She then prayed for the blessing of the 
Pope and for complete absolution of her sins. ''Would to 
God, my daughter, that I had as little need of God's forgiveness 
as you!" said Innocent with a sigh. After his departure 
Clara said to the Sisters, who were collected around her: 
'' Praise the Lord, my daughters! This morning I received 
Himself, and now I too have been considered worthy to see 
His Vicar on earth!" 

After this the Sisters never left Clara's bedside. Agnes, 
who for thirty years had been separated from her sister as 
Abbess of Monticelli convent, near Florence, knelt weeping by 
her bed. Day after day the dying saint lay there; for over 
two weeks she had eaten nothing, but still felt strong. Her 
confessor exhorted her to be patient. ''Since I learned to 
know the grace of my Lord Jesus Christ from God's servant 
Francis," she answered, "no pain and no penance has been 
too great for me, and no sickness too hard." She then sent 
messengers to her friends in Portiuncula, to Leo, Angelo and 
Juniper, telling them that they could read the story of our 
Lord's passion to her. They came, and Brother Leo knelt by 
the bed and kissed, weeping, the hard sack of straw. Brother 
Juniper opened his bundle of "News from God," Angelo com- 
forted the weeping Sisters. 

Then it was that Clara was heard to lift her voice in the 
tearful silence. "Go forth without fear," said she; "thou 
hast a good guide for the road! Go forth without fear, for 
He Who created thee has also sanctified thee, He has always 
protected thee, He has loved thee tenderly, as a mother loves 
her child. O Lord, I praise Thee, because Thou hast created 

Clara ceased her prayers and lay quiet a while, with open 
eyes. "Whom art thou talking to? " at last one of the Sisters 
asked her. "I am speaking," answered Clara solemnly, "with 
my blessed soul." "And do you not see," she added a 
moment after, "do you not see the Eang of Glory, Whom I 
now behold?" 


With eyes blinded with tears all watched the dying one. 
But Clara saw them no longer. She constantly watched the 
chamber door -^ and behold, the door opened, and in white 
clothes, with golden bands aromid their shining hair, a flock 
of heavenly virgins entered, who had come to take Clara to 
the eternal Fatherland. One of them was taller and more 
beautiful than all the others, and her golden head shone, so 
that the dark cell was made more brilliant than the brightest 
day. And the beautiful, shining lady stepped out from the 
crowd of maidens to the bed of Clara, bent down over the 
dying one, embraced her and hid her as it were under a veU of 
light. In the arms of Maty, under the folds of the shining, 
luminous robe of the Queen of Heaven, Clara's soul went up 
to everlasting glory. But between the stiffening hands the 
dead saint held the Pope's bull, sent two days before — the 
final, solemn ratification of the right of Clara and of her 
Sisters to live after the Franciscan ideal.^ 

San Damiano's convent is still standing, almost as Clara 
and her Sisters left it. Here is the Uttle, narrow choir where 
they prayed their Office; along the walls are seats, polished by 
wear, made of old rough woodwork, and in the middle of the 
creaking wooden floor the old desk with the great book of 
antiphones lying open upon it. Here is shown one of the 
bells Clara used when the Sisters were to be called to prayer, 
the tin cup out of which she drank after she had received the 
sacrament of the altar, the Breviary Brother Leo wrote for 
her, and out of which she prayed daily, and a copper reliquary 
given her by Innocent IV. Here too we see the refectory 
where Gregory IX was her guest, and where she by the com- 
mand of the Pope blessed the rolls of bread, while on each 
roll as she bless^ it a cross appeared. Here we see Clara's 
little, narrow, low bedroom ; here we visit finally her so-called 
garden — a small strip of flagged ground between two high 

But from this bit of terrace there opens between the two 
walls, as if through the proscenium of a theatre, a beautiful 
view over the lovely Umbrian land — one sees Rivo Torto, 
Portiimcula, the white roads, the olive-grown fields, the little 

^ VUa, cap. VI. Bull Clara dans, n. 57. 


town of Bettona over in the blue mountains. The garden 
proper consists of only a sort of wide terrace, filled with 
earth, in which flowers a,re growing. And as the old tradi< 
tion goes, Clara would permit only three kinds of flowers 
here: lilies, which are the symbol of purity; violets, the 
symbol of humility, and roses, which signify the love of God 
to man. 



Quid enim sunt servl Dei nisi qindem jooi- 
latores ejus, qui oorda hominum erigere debeut 
et movere ad betitiam spiritualem? 

Par what dse are the servants of God than Us 
singers, whose duty it is to lift up the hearts of 
mum and move them to spiritual Joy t 

rsANOS in Speculum perfectioms 


IT seems almost as if Francis, after he had seen the quiet, 
introspective and happy life St. Clara and the first of 
her Sisterhood led in San Damiano, was again inspired 
with doubts as to his vocation. Again did the doubt 
arise within him if it were not better to withdraw altogether 
from the world and to live alone for his soul's welfare like 
the old anchorites. Many of his disciples had chosen this 
course — Silvester, Rufino, and to some extent Giles. And 
although Francis was well aware of the dangers of the hermit 
life — spiritual arbitrariness and ascetic pride (the character- 
istic description can be read in the FioreUi, Chap. 29) — yet 
it seemed to him incontrovertible that the wandering life as 
preacher was preferable to what he called the ^'acciunulation 
of dust on the spiritual feet." ^ 

To understand what Francis meant by this we must follow 
him on his great missionary journey, which he undertook in 
the years 1211-1212. 

With Silvester he went to Tuscany, pacified the troubles 
in Perugia (see page 99), was joined in Cortona by Guido 
Vagnotelli and — if Wadding can be relied on — also by the 
celebrated and dreaded Elias Bombarone, established near the 
dty a hermitage named Celle, and then wandered on to Arezzo 
and Florence. In the latter dty a celebrated jurist joined 
himself to him, Johannes Parenti, a doctor of the University 
of Bologna and judge in Civitit Castellana. Wadding, follow- 
ing Rudolphus, gives an anecdote about Parenti's entrance 
into the Order. When on a walking tour he heard a swineherd 
driving his grunting hogs into the pen with the words, "Hurry 

^ "H^intualium pulveriaatio pedum." Bonav., XII, 2. 
II 14s 


up into the sty, pigs, as lawyers hurry into hell!" ^ The old 
proverb, "Die Juristen sind bose Christen" (Lawyers are poor 
Christians), seems to have been current in the thirteenth cen- 
tury. In any case Parenti gave up his office and became a 
Franciscan,' at about the same time as another Bolognese 
lawyer, Nicolo de Pepoli, took up with interest the Franciscan 
mission in Bologna itself.' From Florence Francis went on to 
Pisa, where Angelus, the subsequent General of the Order, 
and Albert, later the leader of the Brothers' English mission, 
joined him. He then returned back to Assisi by S. Gimignano 
in the Val d' Elsa, by Chiusi and Cortona, and after a full 
year's absence he gave the Lenten sermons in the cathedral, 
as already alluded to (p. 125). 

But this last part of Frauds' journey was almost a triumphal 
march. As he would approach a city, the bells were rung, the 
people went out to meet him with palm-boughs in their hands, 
and conducted him in festival progress to the parish priest, 
with whom he always stayed. They brought bread for him to 
bless, to be afterwards preserved as a reUc. And they repeated 
the cry which the Italians are so inclined to utter, "Behold 

Even the disciples found that this was too much. Some- 
times they asked him — just as the chief priests and scribes 
had asked the Master — "Hearest thou what these say?" 
Francis used to answer that he regarded the homage paid him 
as analogous to the honor paid to pictures in churches, for the 
God-fearing man is only an image of God, and flesh and blood, 
like wood and stone, should not dare to ascribe to themselves 
the honor which belongs to God alone.' 

^ "Porci, ingredimini in antrum, sicut judices causarum intrant in infernum;'* 
121X, n. 31. Parenti was General of the Order from June 16, 1237 to 133a. 

* Frands called him afterwards the ''Florentine boxer'' ipugil flormUnus) 
a name with whidi he seemed to want to tease Parenti for his hardness of hand. 
(Cel., V. sec,, II, 138, ed. d'Alengon.) 

' It is undoubtedly he who is spoken of in the Actus, cap. IV. Niccolo at 
last entered the Order In z 33a (See Brother Bonaventure's testimony of the 
year 1306, in Wadding, 1330, n. II.) 

* Celano, Vita prima, I, VIII, 63. Trts SocU, XIV: "Et quando erat hora 
hospitandi, libentius erant cum saoerdotibus, quam cum laids hujus saeculi.'* 
Spec. 45: ''Iste est sanctus homot" 

* Spec, perf,, p. 81. Compare Earth, Canform.t f . 33b. Wadding, i3i 3, n. 7. 


But eventually this was insufficient for him, and he sought 
therefore to abase himself, as well as he could. ''Do not 
praise me too soon," he liked to say, ''for soon I shall have 
sons and daughters!" Or he would break out: "Had God 
shown a street robber the love He has shown me, he would be 
much more thankful!" He heartily thanked the Bishop of 
Temi, when he once introduced one of Frauds' sermons with 
a little introduction, in which he had developed the theme 
of how wonderful it was to see so insignificant and ungif ted 
a man as Frauds attain such great results.^ To those who 
praised his severe way of life he said: "All that I do, a sinner 
can also do. A sinner can fast, can pray, can shed tears, 
can mortify the flesh. Only one thing a sinner cannot do — 
be true to Ids Lord and his God" * 

For such faithlessness to God Frauds often upbraided him- 
self, and never concealed it. Once he had been sick, and 
while sick had eaten some chicken. Scarcdy was he well 
again when he put a string around his neck and had himself 
led stripped to the village pillory, and while thus led made the 
Brother who led him cry out, "Here you see the great glutton 
who ate chicken without your knowing about it!"' And as 
the people only broke out into greater praise of his hiunility, 
he ordered one of the Brothers to scold him vigorously so that 
for once he could hear the truth. Much against his will the 
Brother upbraided him as a rustic, a hireling and a useless 
servant, and with a contented smile Francis answered him: 
" God bless thee for the word! That is what the son of Pietro 
di Bemardone ought to hear ! " ^ 

On other occasions Francis sought to escape the homage of 
the people by withdrawing into solitude. Thus he passed the 
whole of Lent, 1 211, on an uninhabited island in Lake Thrasi- 
mene,' and he seems to have passed a great part of the follow- 
ing winter in the high-lying hermitage Sarteano near Chiusi. 
The huts, made of branches, which he with a few Brothers built 

* Cd., V. sec,, m, 73. spec, perf,, cap. 43. CcL, V. sec,, m, 80. 
" Bonav., VI, 3. 

*Ce\,,V, prima,!, s^- Spec, perf., 61, Bonav., VI, 2. Wadding, 1313,11.53. 

* Cel., K. pr,, 1, 53. Bonav., VI, z. Spec, perf. places the residence in As^ 
under Pietro dei Cattani's vicariate (z33o-X2az). 

*Acim, cap. VL Fior.f cap. 7. 


there, resembled mostly the dens of wild beasts, but Francis 
liked the place ''partly for its wildness, partly for its loneliness, 
and finally because he could see from it Assisi in the distance." ^ 
In this loneliness he was visited by great temptations, some- 
times to despair — an interior voice said to him, ''There is 
salvation for all, except for a self-tormentor like you!" — 
sometimes to give up the state of celibacy and marry. Against 
this temptation he used an old practice of the anchorites — 
with the rope which he wore as a belt , he gave himself a dreadful 
beating on the bare back. But as " Brother Ass " — as Francis 
used to call his body — would give him no peace, he found 
another way. Outside of his cell the ground was covered 
with snow, and half naked as he was, Frands sprang out into 
the snow and began to build seven snow images. When the 
work was done he said to himself: "See, Frands — here is 
your wife, the big one over there — the four at her side are 
your two sons and two daughters, and the other two are your 
man-servant and maid. They are dying of cold — hurry up 
and put something on them! And if you cannot, then be 
glad that you have no one to serve except God alone." ' 

In one way or another the idea of withdrawing entirely 
from the world engaged Francis' thoughts. He often discussed 
it with the Brothers of the Order and weighed the pro and 
con. There was one thing that always prevented him from 
choosing the hermit life, and that was the example of our 
Lord. Jesus coidd have chosen to remain in his glory at his 
Father's right hand, but instead descended to earth to endure 
the vidssitudes of hiunan life and to die the bitter death of 
shame on the Cross. And it was the Cross that had from the 
first been Frauds' model, the Cross to which he applied with 
the rest of the Middle Ages God's word to Moses : Fac secundum 
exemplar — "Make it according to the pattern, that was 
shown thee in the moimt." • 

In his doubt Francis resolved to ask a decision from God 

^ Wadding, 12x2, n. i, after Mariano. 

* Cel., VUa sec., II, 82 (ed. d'Alencon). Bonav., V, 4. "A Brother, who had 
stayed up to pray, saw it all by the lig^t of the moon," says the last-named. 
What a picture of Francis in the moonlight of the snow-white mountain loneli- 
ness, building snow images and talking to himself I 

* Eiodus, zxv. 40. Bonav., XII, i-a. 


and to follow it blindly, whatever it might be. On other 
occasions he had opened the Bible and taken the sense of the 
text that met his eyes. This time he decided to submit him- 
self to the inspiration of two privileged souls. Brother Masseo 
was therefore sent away, first to St. Clara and then to Brother 
Silvester, who lived a hermit life in a cave on Monte Subasio, 
where now is situated the convent Carceri, in whose garden 
the first cells of the Franciscans are still shown. Frauds 
determined to follow the judgment of Silvester and Clara. 

^' But Brother Silvester started at once to pray/' we are told 
in Actus beoH Francisci. ''And in prayer he at once got the 
answer from God. And he went to Brother Masseo and said, 
'This says the Lord, you shall tell Brother Francis that God 
has not called him for his own sake only, but also that he shall 
win many souls!' And then Brother Masseo went to St. 
Clara. . . . But she answered and said that she and another 
Sister had had the same answer exactly from God as Brother 

"But Brother Masseo went back to St. Francis. And St. 
Francis received him lovingly and prepared for them a meal, 
and when they had eaten Francis called him out into the woods. 
And St. Francis bared his head, crossed his arms over his 
chest, knelt down, asked and said, 'What does my Lord 
Jesus Christ tell me to do? ' Brother Masseo answered that 
both Brother Silvester and Sister Clara and another had 
received the answer from Jesus Christ the glorious: 'that 
thou shalt go out and preach, for God has not called you for 
your own sake alone, but also to save others! ' And then the 
hand of the Lord was lifted over St. Francis and he sprang up 
in the glow of the Holy Ghost, and inspired by power from on 
high, he said to Brother Masseo, 'Well, let us go!' And he 
took Brother Masseo with him and Brother Angelo, both of 
whom were holy men. . . . And they came between Cannara 
and Bevagna.^ 

"And St. Frauds saw some trees by the roadside, and in 
these trees there was a multitude of birds of all kinds, such as 
never before were seen in this region. And a great quantity 
were on the ground under the trees. And when St. Frauds 

^Two small towns between Assisi and Monteialcs. 


saw all this multitude, the Spirit of God came over him, and 
he said to his disdples, 'Wait for me here, I am going to 
preach to our sisters the birds! ' And he walked into the field 
up to the birds who sat upon the earth. And as soon as he 
began to preach all the birds who sat in the trees flew down 
to him, and none of them moved, although he went right 
among them, so that his cowl touched several of them. . . . 

''But St. Frauds said to the birds: 'My sister Birds! You 
owe God much gratitude, and ought always and everjrwhere 
to praise and exalt him, because you can fly so freely, wher- 
ever you want to, and for your double and threefold clothing 
and for your colored and adorning coats and for the food, 
which you do not have to work for, and for the beautiful 
voices the Creator has given you. You sow not, neither do 
you reap, but God feeds you and gives you rivers and springs 
to drink from, and hills and mountains, cliffs and rocks to 
hide yourselves in, and high trees for you to build your nests in, 
and though you can neither spin nor weave, he gives you and 
your young ones the necessary clothing. Love therefore the 
Creator much, since he has given you such great blessings. 
Watch therefore well, my sister birds, that you are not 
ungrateful, but busy yourselves always in praising God!' 

" But after this, our holy father's word, all those little birds 
began to open their beaks to beat with their wings and stretch 
out their necks and bow their heads reverently to the earth, 
and with their song and their movements showed that the 
words St. Francis had said had pleased them greatly. But 
St. Francis rejoiced in his spirit as he saw this and wondered 
over so many birds and over their variety and differences 
and that they were so tame, and he praised the Creator for it 
and gently exhorted them to praise the Creator themselves. 

"And when St. Francis had finished his sermon and his 
exhortation to praise God, he made the sign of the Cross over 
all the birds. And all the birds flew up at once and twittered 
wonderfully and strongly, and separated and flew away." ^ 

^ Aaus, cap. XVII. PiorM, cap. 16. Cd., Vita prima, I, 58. Booav., 

xn, 3. 


IT was not now the intention of St. Frands to restrict him- 
self to a new mission trip through Italy. He had greater 
plans, as he went out of Assisi this time, and in a sense 
it was his youthful dream of wars that returned to the 
man of thirty years. It was the time of the Crusades — not 
many years later John of Brienne, a brother of Frands' old- 
time hero, Walter, was to go to Damietta at the head of a 
great army of Christians. Francis too would go on a cru- 
sade, but with no other weapon than the gospel. What he 
had in mind was no less than to preach Christianity and 
conversion to the Saracens.^ 

First he wished to obtain the Pope's assent to his new pro- 
posal. It is said of St. Dominic tiiiat he ''was always to be 
foimd on the road to Rome to obtain instructions."* The 
same applies to Frands. Two years after he had obtained 
Innocent Ill's verbal ratification of the Rules of the Order, we 
find him again in Rome to remind the Pope of the promises he 
had then given.' He could now well say that " God had mul- 
tiplied his Brother's voice " and could therefore beg to have a 
greater mission given him. 

We know little of Frauds' third journey to Rome. On the 
way he visited Alviano, near Todi, where he, preaching in the 
market-place, is said to have ordered the swallows, swooping 
about and disturbing him with their cries, to be silent.^ Per- 
haps he also went through Nami and Toscanella.* 

In Rome Frands preached as usual in the streets and alleys. 
With these sermons he won two new Brothers — Zacharias, 

» CcL, V, pr„ I, 55. * Sabatier: Vie de S. Fr, (1894), p. 247. 

*See p. 94. ^Cel, V, pr,, I, 59. Booav., XII, 4. 

'Cel., V. pr.f I, 65-^)6. Bonav., XII, 9. 


who afterwards became a missionary in Spain, and William, 
the first Englishman who entered the Order.^ Far more 
important for the whole future of the Order was the friendship 
Francis here contracted with a woman whom he later, on 
account of her manly character, called jokingly '^ Brother 
Jacoba " ' — the wife of the Roman nobleman Gratiano Frangi- 
pani. Her name was Giacoma or Jacopa de Settisoli, and she 
was about twenty-five years old.' 

The Frangipani family is one of the noblest in Rome; it is 
said to have sprung from the gens Anicia^ which coimts among 
its members in the course of years a Benedict of Nurda, a 
Paulinus of Nola, and St. Gregory. In the year 717 Flavius 
Anidus Petrus, then the head of the family, by generous gifts 
of bread during a great scardty of food in Rome won the 
name of ''the Breaker of Bread." In the beginning of the 
thirteenth century the Frangipanis lived in Rome with exten- 
sive estates in the trans-Hberian region and on the Esquiline, 
where they possessed, among the rest of their pcpperty, the 
castle-like remains of the Sepiizonium of Septimus Severus — 
a name which in a changed form still lives in the title of the 
Roman street Via dette setU Sale and from which Gratiano 
Frangipani's wife acquired' her name de SeUesoli. 

Giacoma is said to have been of a mixture of Norman and 
Sicilian blood. She was probably bom about 11 90, for in 
1 2 10 she was married and had a son, Giovanni. Afterwards 
she had another son, Gratiano, in 1217, shortly after her hus- 
band's death. Already in the year 121 2 she had made the 
acquaintance of Francis of Assisi — an acquaintance which 
on the next visit of the Umbrian evangelist to Rome was to 
develop into a true and inward friendship. 

Francis had certainly little trouble in obtaining Innocent 
Ill's blessing on his work. He embarked on the sea, we do 

^ And, Fr,y III, p. 13. Wadding, 1213, n. 35, after Mariano. 

* "Nam . . . fratrem Jacobam nominavit." Bernard a Besaa: De kuidilms, 
Anal, Franc, t III, p. 687. 

'I follow here Edouard d'Alenson: "Ff^« Jacqudine" Recherches ids- 
toriques sur Jacqndine de SetUsdi, Vamie de Saint Francis, Paris, 1899. For 
the historical basis of her history, see also P. Sabatier: DeVemAiOiondes Ugendes, 
A profws de la tisUe de Jacqueline deS.ds, Prangns in Suttina's *'BnU, criUko, " 
I, pp. 33 et seq. 


net know from which port Storms drove the ship off her 
course, and she stranded on the coast of Slavonia. There 
was no way of embarking thence for the Orient — it was late 
in the year, and the weather was also mifavorable for the 
sea-crossing. Francis tried to get a ship for Ancona, but the 
seamen were unwilling to load a ship with him and his follow- 
ers. They then formed the plan of hiding themselves among 
the ship's cargo without the crew knowing it; they emerged 
only after the.ship was on the open sea, and as the voyage on 
account of unfavorable weather lasted longer than was ex- 
pected, and the ship's rations became exhausted, the two 
hidden passengers obtained permission to share their rations 
with the crew.^ 

Hardly had Frands' feet touched Italian soil wh«i he took 
up his old way of life and went preaching from dty to city. 
In Ascoli his preaching had such effect that over thirty men, 
some priests, some laymen, sought to be received into the 
Brotherhood.^ Everywhere he was surrounded as before by 
the jubilations and crowds of people; they strove at least 
to touch the skirt of his garment. Only the Cathari, also 
diffused through the Ancona region, kept away from him, 
for the kernel of his preaching — <as of all his religious life — 
was the absolute, unconditional and in all unessential things 
blind obedience to the Roman Church, and the principal 
sequence thereof, a deep reverence for the priests of the same 
Church. It was with timely retrospect over this and similar 
missionary journeys that Frands in his Testament has written 
words about ''the poor minor priests in the parishes about," 
whom he in spite of all will ''fear, love and honor" as his 
masters and "not look upon their faults." * 

This last was what the Cathari wanted; they expatiated 
long and loud over the sins of the priests, and thus took many 
out of that Church which the priests represented. Francis 
was of that rare nature that can discriminate between things 

' Cd., y. pr.t I, n. ss, 

• Cel., V, pr., I, n. 6a. 

' "£t 81 liaberan tantam saiuentiam, quantam Sakunon habuit, et Invcni- 
rem pauperculos sacerdotes ... in parochiis in quibua morantur • . . ipaos 
et omnes alios volo timere, amare et honorare sicut meos dominos; et nolo 
in ipsis coDsiderare peccatum." {Opusaday ed. Quar., p. 78.) 


and persons, and he knew how to inspire the same spirit in 
his brethren. ''But how can a priest lie?" Brother Giles 
asked in this spirit, incensed over so unreasonable a supposi- 

While in Ancona this time, Francis converted a celebrated 
man of that time, the troubador, GugUelmo Divini, called 
by the people, "the Verse-king." * Divini was on a visit to 
the village San Severino in the Mark of Ancona, where he had 
a relative, a nun. Frauds was preaching in the convent at 
the time and the celebrated poet heard him there. 

There was, according to all testimony, something very 
impressive in Frauds' way of speaking. It was not so mudi 
a sermon, says Thomas of Spalato, as a canciOy a lectwe, that 
touched on practical and moral reform.' And Frauds was 
an unbending moralist. He was not silent about wrongs 
that he saw, but gave everything its right name. In spite 
of his poor external appearance, he inspired thereby not only 
wonder but also fright; there was something of John the 
Baptist about him.^ In his writings there is many a Woe 
to the sinner, whose wages are eternal fire!* He was not 
afraid to threaten with God's judgment.* His words were 
compared to a sword that pierces through hearts.' 

So Guglielmo Divini heard the celebrated preacher of re- 
pentance in the doister in San Severino. The poet came from 
curiosity, and a crowd of the gay youth of the village with 
him. At first Frauds did not impress them greatly. But 
the verse-king soon began to listen — it seemed to him as if 
the poor little man from Assisi talked to him alone, as if all 
the words he heard were directed to him, and one after another 
like well-aimed arrows, sent by a master-hand, thrust their 
points into his heart. . . . 

What did Francis talk about? It was on his usual theme — 

^ Cd., V. pr.f I, 46. Compaie AnaL Pmnc^ m, p. 79. 

* "Vocabatur nomen ejus Rex venmum." CeL» ViUi sec.^ m, 49. 
s Boehmer: " Analekten'' (1904), p. zo6. 

* 5^. perf,, cap. Z05. Tres SpcH, cap. Xm. 
^Opuscida (Quaracchl), pp. sx> 7z> 95> 96-97* zi4- 

* Cel., VUa sec,, 11, 6, and m, Z3Z. 

* "Verba acutusima, penctrantia cofda/' "aeparatiooSs gladlua." 7V«t 
iSmm, cap. XIV. ''gladimn verfai Dd/' '' tzansverbeiat coio.'* Cel., V. sec., HI, 49. 


to despise the world and to be converted so as to withstand 
the coming ¥n:ath. And when he was through, the sunple and 
great thing at once happened, and Gugliehno Divini rose up, 
fell at the feet of Francis, and cried out, ''Brother I take 
me away from men and give me to God!" 

On the next day Francis clothed him in the grey clothes of 
the Order and girded his loins with the cord, and gave him the 
name Pacificus, because he had left the world's tumult for 
the peace of God.^ 

Thus, too, a century later, another much greater poet was 
to seek for peace among the children of St. Francis. One 
evening he, already grey and bowed down, stood before a 
lonely cloister in the Apennines and knocked at the door. 
And to the porter's question as to what he sought there, the 
great Florentine (Dante) gave only the one all-including 
answer, Pacel ' * Peace ! ' ' 

Although Francis thus recdved'every one with a troubled 
heart who came to him, and without further novitiate clothed 
him in the Order's garb — it was in 1220 that a year's trial 
or novitiate was established — he had a wonderful ability 
at discriminating among the many who began to wish to be 
received among the Brothers. A short pmod had elapsed 
after Padficus' conversion when a young nobleman from 
Lucca sought Francis and with tears cast himself at his feet, 
and asked to be one of his sons. Francis addressed him with 
severity. ''Your weeping is a liel" he said, "your heart 
does not bdong to God I Why do you lie to the Holy Ghost 
and to me?" Thus it appeared that the longing for the 
doister was only a caprice of the young man, perhaps conceived 
in a moment of dissatisfaction with the conditions of home. 
When his parents came to beg him to come back, he 
readily complied.* 

Especially was Francis on his guard with the book-learned, 
vifi UkraU. "When such a book-man comes to me," he said 

^ Cd., V. s€c.y m, 49. Compare HI, 63. Spec, perf,, capp. 59-60. Bodav., 
IV, 50-51. Cd., V. sec,, m, 37, and III, 76. Spec, perf., cap. 100. Brother 
Padficus was sent to Fiance at the head of the Fzandscan mission in 1217. 
Spec, perf., p. 123 (Sabatier's ed.)> For Frands' way of preaching, see also Cd., 
F. sec., ni, 50. FioreUi, cap. 30. 
' CeL, VUa sec, U, 11, (d'Alencon's ed.). 


openly, ''I see at once if his intentions are sincere when his 
first prayer to me is this one: ^Behold, Brother, I have lived 
long in the world and never rightly knew my God. Give me 
a place far from the world's alarms, where I in the bitterness 
of heart can think over the years I have lost and squandered, 
to live a better life in the future/ " * 

It was only for the disinherited of this world, the poor and 
oppressed, the unfortunate and lost, the lepers, thieves and 
robbers, that Francis' heart was open without reservation. 
It is true that the Benedictines' Rules contained at this time 
the words: ''All strangers shall be received as if it were 
Christ," but Francis himself had foimd by trial in his youth 
that this command was not always lived up to, that it was 
observed in the case of guests who could claim a position in 
society, but that it was not observed in the case of those who 
needed it the most, the homeless, the tramps and the b^gars. 
It is certain that with the ej^riences of his youth at St. 
Maria della Rocca in mind. Frauds in his Rule at the very 
beginning wrote the beautiful words: ''And whoever comes 
to the Brethren, Friend or Enemy, Thief or RobbeTf shall be 
kindly received." * 

Even his most devoted disciples had trouble sometimes in 
following him in this matter. The Speculum perfecUonis 
contains the following impressive tale, f rcxn the early days of 
the Order: 

"In a hermitage over Borgo San Sqx>lcro" — Manle 
Casale is meant; Borgo San Sepolcro is a village about half- 
way between Mt. Alvema and Gubbio — "it happened that 
robbers who tised to keep in the woods and fall upon way- 
farers, came and asked for bread; but some of the Brothers 
said that it was not right to give them alms. . . . 

"Meanwhile St. Francis came to this convent, and the 
Brothers asked him if it were right to give alms to robbers, 
and St. Francis answered them thus: 'If you do as I say, 

^ Cd., Vita sec,, III, 1 2$ (Amoni). In Verba Prairis Comadi is a recital of how 
a learned man {mapius doctor) was first received into the Order after having 
worked for a month in the kitchen. (Sabatier: Opusctiies de crUique, I, pp. 


* " Et quicumque ad eos venerit, amicus vd adversarius, fur vel latro,bemg;ne 

recipiainr" Reg. prima, cap. VII. Compare p. 49 of this book. 


then have I hope in God that I will save their souls. Go then 
and get good bread and good wine, take it out to them in the 
woods and say to them: 'Brother robbers! Come here! We 
are Brothers, and we come with good wine and good bread to 
you!' Then they will come at once and I will spread a cloth 
on the ground and set the table for them, and wait on them 
with humility and cheerfulness while they eat. But when 
they are through I will speak God's word to them, and finally 
I shall beg them to grant you a request in God's name, namely, 
that they shall promise you not to kill anyone and to do 
bodily harm to no one. If I ask everything of them at once 
they will answer, ' No,' but now for the sake of your humility 
and goodness they will promise you this. 

''The next day, in requital of their good promises, you 
shall go out to them with bread and wine, eggs and fruit, and 
wait upon them while they eat. And when they have finished, 
you shall say to them : ' Why do you wander about all day 
and suffer hunger and endure so much, and in thought and 
deed perpetrate so many things, and imperil your souls? It 
is much better to serve the Lord; then he will give you what 
you need here upon earth, and at the same time you will 
save your souls 1' Then the Lord will grant them that for 
the sake of your humility and patience they will be converted. 

"But the Brothers did all, just as St. Francis had said, and 
the robbers, from thankfulness and with God's mercy, held 
point for point and jot for jot what the Brothers had enjoined 
them. Yes, for the sake of the humility and confidence of 
the Brothers, they helped them and carried wood into the 
hermitage, and eventually some of them entered the Order. 
But others confessed their sins, and did penance for their 
transgressions, and promised the Brothers solemnly, to live 
by the work of their hands, and never to do such things again." ^ 

^Spec, perf,f cap. 66. In Adus^ cap. XXIX (Fioreiti, cap. a6), the 
same story is fouad more in detail. Here the guardian drives the robbers 
out of the convent door with scornful words. When Frands appeared "car- 
rying a sack with bread and a bottle of wine/' which he had begged, he scolded 
the guardian and told him as a penance to take the sack and bottle and search 
for the robbers "over mountain and valley," until he found them. "And then 
thou shalt kneel down before them and humbly beg them for forgiveness for 
thy rudeness and severity." (PicretH.) 


As this tale, one of the oldest remains we possess, lies before 
us, it gives us a full conception both of Frauds' knowledge 
of men — he knew that it was useless to preach to a himgry 
man, he knew also that Rome was not built in a day — and 
of his unpharisaical love of men. Here is one of the moments 
in the history of Christendom, when the words of the gospel 
are understood exactly as they were said: ''And if you love 
them that love you, what reward shall you have? Do not 
even the publicans this? '' But do good without expecting 
anything from it! "And your reward shall be great, and 
you shall be the sons of the Highest, for he is kind to the 
unthankful and to the m/." ^ 

If Francis was thus indulgent to the last degree with great 
sinners, so on the other hand he put good people to a severe 
test. From those to whom much was given he expected 
much. The Fioretti have preserved for us many incidents 
which illustrate this characteristic in him, — such demeanor 
in the case of Rufino, who belonged to one of Assisi's best 
families, and whom he ordered to go naked from Portiuncula 
to the dty, and to preach naked in the cathedral.' A similar 
command was that which he gave to Brother Agnolo near 
Borgo San Sepolcro, who belonged to that place and who 
like Rufino was of good family. He too was to go naked 
into the town and announce that Frauds would come next 
day and preach there. But he was called back as he was 
approaching the dty gate, and Frauds promised him paradise 
for the readiness with which he had humiliated himself.* 

Little is known with certainty of Francis of Assisi's journeys 
during the next few years. Wadding has with admirable 
sagadty tried to put into order all the fragmentary pieces 
which constitute the biographical material for these years, 
so as to form an artifidal mosaic, but he failed in the attempt. 

^ Matth. V. 47. Luke vi. 35. This particular way of God made a deep im- 
pression upon Francis — see his own words in Bartholomew of Pisa: " Curialitas 
est una de proppetatibus Domini, que solem suum et pluviam suam et omnia 
super justos et injustos curialiter administrate (Actus, Sabatier's ed., p. 305, 
n. 2). 

^FwreUi, cap. 30. 

* Speculum vUae (Antwerp, 1620), p. II, cap. 2$, Compaie Sab., O^mjc 
it crU., I, p. 74, n. 2, and Wadding, 1213, n. 24. 


And when he, for example, assumes that Francis was sick in 
Assisi in the winter of 1212-1213, and sent out from his sick- 
bed his ''Letters to all Christians/' it confuses the occasion 
with much later events. 

We can with some certainty believe that Francis pursued 
his journey through Italy. However this may be, we meet 
him in the beginning of 1213 on a similar mission — a journey 
in the province of Romagna. In this region, not far from 
the little republic of San Marino, there was in olden times a 
nobleman's castle called Montefdtro (now Sasso-Feltrio near 
the city of San Leo). 

Francis and his companion — probably Leo — came to 
this dty on a beautiful May morning just as the banners 
flying from the towers and the proud blare of the trumpets 
announced a great festival. Gaily dressed pages and men- 
at-arms hastened over the drawbridge, knights on powerful 
chargers, brightly caparisoned, thronged under the gateway, 
swinging carriages bore ladies, young and old, with laced 
bodices and high head-dresses up the steep road to the castle. 
Everything indicated that a festive tourney was to be held, 
to which all the nobility of the district was invited. 

All the splendor here di^layed did not irritate Brother 
Francis. Pious people are addicted to this faiUng, so that 
Francis was wont to warn his disdples against judging and 
demising those who went in costly clothes and lived in lux- 
ury.^ ** God is also their master," said he; ''he can call them 
when he will and make them just and holy." Had not this 
happened to him? 

Therefore he stood there a little while and looked at the 
banner that waved over the gate with the bearings of the 
barons of Montefeltro. He then turned with a smile to his 

''What do you think? Should we too go up to the festival? 
Perhaps we can win a good knight for God's cause!" 

'"Admonebat etiam fratres, ut nullum hominem judicarent, neque despi- 
Cerent illos, qui delicate vivunt ac superflue induuntur." Tres Socii, cap. 
XIV, n. 58. Compare Regula sec., cap. II: "Quos moneo et ezhortor, ne 
despiciant neque judicent homines, quos vident mollibus vestimentis et coloratis 
indutos, uti dbis et i)otibus delicatis, sed magis unuaquiaque judicet et despidat 
semetipsum." {Qpusc., ed. Quar., p. 65.) 


It was done as he said. The occasion of the festival was 
the knighting of a young soldier. All attended mass, during 
which the young man took the pledges of knighthood, and 
then Francis ascended some steps in the castle garden and 
began to speak. As his text he had chosen some words in 
the dialect of the people, a simple doggerel such as children 
use, the two following lines: 

Tanto ^ il bene ch* io aspetto 
Ch' ogni pcna m'd dilletto 

/ kop€ that I so blessed vnU he 
That eeery suffering pleases me. 

One can easily imagine that Francis, grown up as he was 
in the atmosphere of the romances of King Arthur and the 
Knights of the Round Table, developed this text somewhat 
in the following manner: 

"The knight," he began, "who wants to win a lovely dame, 
must be ready to undergo great and many sufferings. She 
may require of him that he shall go on a crusade against the 
sultan, perhaps that he shall bring her a horn of the imicom 
or an €;gg of the bird caUed the roc. Perhaps that he shall 
set free a captive maiden, or ride a fully equipped charger 
over a bridge which is so small that one can hardly walk 
across it, while under it pours a wild torrent. And all these 
dangers and sufferings the true and noble knight is ready to 
imdergo, only because his dear lady wishes it, and through 
all his tribulations he thinks only of her white hand that she 
will give him to kiss when he goes back with deeds well done, 
and immediately his despondency and gloom are over. . . • 

" But now there is another and far nobler knighthood, to 
which all men are called, and not only those of noble birth. 
There is another battle, not to win the favor of an earthly 
beauty, but to do the will of the eternal and highest beauty, 
who is God. . . . "Pfiit is not God far more beautiful than 
all the beautiful ladies — for they are all the work of His 
hands, made out of the dust of the earth? Is not He who 
made so much that is beautiful, is not He still more beautiful 
than all His creatures? Yes, He is that, and therefore He 


also deserves that you go out as knight-errants for Him, and 
fight valorously for His honor against the enemies who are 
the world, the flesh, and the Devil. And what will He not 
give us if we have been faithful to Him — like a knight to 
his ladylove — and do not permit ourselves to be cast down 
in His service by any obstacle or suffering? He gives us 
infinitely more than even the most beautiful dame can give. 
She has only herself, her hand, and her heart; but the hand 
shall wither, and the heart shall fail some time. But when 
God gives Himself as the prize for the victory, as the shining 
prize for the winner of the joust, then He gives us life, light 
and happiness in imperishable, immortal eternity." ^ 

It was about in this way that Brother Francis spoke, and 
his words may well have moved many a young and noble 
heiart. But one among them, and this was Duke Orlando dei 
Cattani of the castle of Chiusi in Casentino, approached 
Francis and spoke: 

'' Father, I want to talk to you about the salvation of my 

But Frauds, who gave God's Spirit time to work upon souls, 
had no haste, but answered: 

'' Go first and hold festivities with your friends, wherever 
you may be invited. After that we will talk in peace and 

^When Sabatier so eloquently enlaiges upon the contrast between him 
who serves God for love and him who does it for reward, and would regard 
the first as the true Franciscan, the other as the principle of the Church, he 
describes a contrast which does not exist. We see Francis on the contrary 
constantly preaching on the topics of reward and punishment. His words at 
the "Chapter of Mats" cannot be misunderstood (Acku, cap. 3o: ''Magna pro- 
misimus, majora vero promissa sunt nobis. . . . Brevis voluptas, perpetua poena. 
Modica passio, gloria infinita ") . In the Letter to all Christians Francis docants 
in the same way with the expressions "merces," "praemium," "remuneratio": 
(Op.t p. 91), and he takes the same standpoint in the Rule of the Order of 1223, 
cap. DC, where he as the text of sermons especially recommends to the Brothers 
*'Vitia et virtutes, poenam d ^oriam.** "Non deterreat vos magnitudo cer- 
taminis et laboris immensitas, quoniam magnam habetis remunerationem/' 
John of Parma has his Damina Paupertas say to her confidante (Cammerdum, 
ed. Alvisi, p. 40). The whole of thb work, which is written from the extreme 
Franciscan standpoint, is chaiged with^ thoughts of "a reward in heaven," 
which appears to be so strongly repellent to Sabatier, but which he, if consistendk, 
must object to in our Lord (Matthew vi. i) and in St. Paul (Romans, vifi. 


When the tourney was over the young duke again visited 
Francis, and they talked together; but at the end of the 
conversation the Duke Orlando said: 

'' I own a mountain in Tuscany, which is called La Vema, 
a very lonely mountain well adapted to meditation. If you 
would wish to biiild there, you and your Brothers, then for 
my soul's sake will I give it to you I" 

"But St. Francis" — thus is it told us in the AdM B. 
Francisci — "greatly wished to find lonely places where it 
was good to pray. Therefore he thanked first of all God, 
who with his faithful took care of his lambs, and thereafter 
he thanked Lord Orlando, and said: 'Lord Duke, when you 
go back to your home I will send two of my Brothers to 
you, and you can show them this moimtain, and if it seems 
suited to prayer and meditation, then I will be very grateful 
to you for your friendly offer.' " * 

* AOuSf cap. 9. Compare the Consid, ddU sacre sUmmate (in the Appendix 
to the PioreUi), — Casentino is the same as the upper Valley of the Amo. The 
ruins of Borgo Chiusi are still to be seen, not far from Mount Alvemo. See 
jOrgensen's "Pilgrimsbogen/' capp. XX-XXIV. 

Francis did not wish to receive any written evidence of his right of owner- 
ship to the mountain. • It was the sons of Count Orlando, who caused a formal 
letter of gift to be issued, of which Sbaralea in hb Bidlarium Franciscanum 
(IV, Rome, 1768, p. 156, note h) gives a copy after the original preserved in 
the archives of Borgo San Sepolcro. It is given here: 

"In Dei Nomine. Amen. Anno Dni millesimo ducentesimo septuagesimo 
quarto Gregorio Papa sedente & Romano Imperio vacante die Lunae 9. Mensis 
Julil . . . Oriandus de Catanis quondam Domini Orlandi, Comes de 
Clusio, & Cungius & Bandinus & Gugiielmus fratres et filii dicti Domini Orlandi, 
ejus verbo et auctoritate et qualiter ez certa sdentia, et non p>er aliquem juris 
vel facti errorem, oonfitentes se lege Romana vivere et esse majores viginti 
quinque annis, ccmfessi fuerunt, quomodo dictus Dom. Oriandus Clusii comes 
inter milites Imperatoris strenuissimus miles, et dictorum pater, oretenus 
dederit, donaverit atque concesserit libere et absque nulla exceptione Fratri 
Francisco, e jusque sodis fratribus, tarn praesentibus quam f uturis, de anno Domini 
MCCXIII, die octava Maji, Alvemae montem, ita ut pnedictus Pater Frandscus, 
ejusque fratres ibi habitare possint, et per praedictum Montem Ahermae 
intelUgimus . . . totam terram alboratam, saxosam et prativam absque ulla 
excq>tione a supercilio prsedicti montis usque ad radices a qualibet parte, quie 
prndictum montem drcumdat cum suis annexis." 

By their father's command the sons ratified the gift, that hitherto had been 
**in vooe tantum et absque idla scriptura." At the same time they made over 
to the convent at La Vema many relics of St. Francis, with the leather bdt 
Fiands had brought their father when he was taken into the Third Order ci 
St. Francis ("habitum sumpsit'')* 


For the present, Frands himself did not go to inspect the 
Duke Orlando's gift. For again did the crown of martyrdom 
beckon to him from afar. He had not succeeded in going to 
the Holy Land — now he thought of bringing the gospel to 
the Mussulmen on the further side of the Mediterranean Sea 
in Morocco. Sidtan* Mohammed ben Nasser, the Miramolin 
as the Christians by an anagram on the title — Endr-tl' 
Mumeniny "the ruler of the faithful'' — were wont to caU 
him, had been beaten by the Spaniards at Tolosa, and was 
forced to retreat to Africa. Here Frands determined to visit 
him, and started on the journey, probably in the winter of 
1213-1214.^ He travelled across Spain, but he fell side as he 
readied the end of his joiuney, and again had to return home 
with his object imattained. On reaching Portiuncula he 
took several new Brothers into the Order, among them 
Thomas of Celano.* 

The year after this fruitless mission to the heathen, Francis 
seems to have been present at the Fourth Lateran Council.* 
He obtained in all probability on this occasion Innocent Hi's 
ratification of Clara's and her Sisters' privilege of poverty 
(see p. 131). 

It was about the same time that the French prelate, 
Jacques de Vitry (see Appendix, p. 401), passed through 
Italy on his way to the Holy Land, and then made the ac- 
quaintance of the first Friars Minor. In a letter sent from 
Genoa in October, 12 16 to his friends at home, the French 
Canon thus expresses himself: 

''In the time that I spent at the Curia" (the Papal Court 
in Perugia) ''I saw much that I was entirely dissatisfied with; 
all was so taken up with worldly and temporary affairs of 

^ "Post non multtim tempus," i.e. after the return from SlavQnia, says 
Cdano {V. pr., I, 20. Compare Tract, de mi/r,, V., 54). Sabatier would put 
the journey in 12x4-1215. Compare Etudes Franc. ^ XV, p. 384, and XVI, pp. 
60 et seq. 

* Viia pr.y same place. The later biographers make Frands visit S. Jago 
da Compostella and establish a lot of cloisters in Spain, Southern France, and 
Piedmcmt {Anal. Franc.t III, p. 9). The Bollandists throw out all these tra- 
ditions. It is certain that Luc de Tuy in his History of the World first for the 
year 1217 writes: "£o tempore per totam Hispaniam . . . FiatrumMinonim 
ooDStruunt monasteria." A. SS., Oct. 11, p. 603, n. 303. 

*Anai. Franc., IH, g. 


politics and law, that it was hardly possible to get in a word 
of spiritual affairs. 

''There was one thing, however, which comforted me in 
these surroundings: many men and women, among them 
many rich and worldly, have for Christ's sake forsaken every- 
thing and fled from the world. They are called Friars Minor, 
and stand in high repute both with Pope and Cardinals. But 
they take no heed of temporal things, but work day in and 
day out with zeal and diligence to draw souls away from the 
vanities of the world, so that they will not fall to the ground, 
and to take them along with themselves. And with the favor 
of God they have already reaped a rich harvest. . . . 

''But they live after the example of the primitive man, of 
whom it is written : ' the multitude of the faithful were of one 
heart and one mind.' By day they labor and go into the 
dties and highwa3rs to capture souls, but at night they turn 
back to waste places and lonely regions, where they give 
themselves up to prayer. The women abide together in 
various retreats in the vicinity of the cities; they receive 
nothing, but Uve from the work of their hands. ... But 
the men of this Order come together once a year with great 
provision to a predetermined place, to hold a feast together 
and to rejoice in the Lord, and with the support of good men 
they ordain and announce their laws, which the Pope ratifies. 
After this they disperse, and for the entire year are in Lom- 
bardy, and Tuscany, and Apulia, and Sicily. But a holy and 
God-fearing man, Nicholas, the Pope's secretary, recently 
forsook the Curia and went to them, but was called back 
because the Pope could not do without him." ^ 

In the summer of 1216 the Papal Court was stationed in 
Perugia, and, as can be seen from the last Unes of Jacques 
de Vitry's sketch, the movement started by Francis began to 
spread up to the highest hierarchy. The Bishop Nicholas 
here spoken of was Bishop of Tusculum, later Cardinal 
Nicholas Chiaramonti, of whom we know tiiat he was very 
friendly to the Franciscans, and liked to have one of them 
with him.* Perhaps it was at the same time that another 
Cardinal paid his first visit to the Friars Minor; this was 

^ Boduner: '* Analckten," pp. 9^-99. * AnaL Pwame,, m, p. 83. 


Cardinal Hugolin of Ostia, afterwards a friend and tireless 
protector of the Order. He came to Portiuncula — as we are 
told in the Speculum perfectionts^ where the Brothers were 
holding a conference — with a large band of followers, both 
clerks and soldiers. But when he saw how poorly the Broth- 
ers lived, and that they slept upon straw, and ate from the 
bare earth, he was so overcome that he broke into tears and 
cried out, ''How will it go with us who live so luxuriously 
day after day in superfluity and delights?" ^ 

It is certain that the time was approaching for a nearer 
relation between Francis and the Papal Court to be estab- 
lished. The road from Perugia, where the Curia, as already 
said, was held for the greater part of the summer of 1216,' 
to Portiuncula is not long, and there seem to have been reap- 
local visits.' It was in this summer that the majority of his 
biogr^hers are unanimous in placing one of the most con- 
tested affairs in the life of Francis of Assisi — in the first 
days of the pontificate of Honorius lU, God's poor little 
man from A^i^ knelt before Christ's Vicar and begged for 
the celebrated Portiuncula indulgence. 

^Spec. perf,, cap. 21. 

'Potth., Reg,t I, nr. 51x1 (May 20) — nr. 5337 (August 12). 

' A single authority (Ecdeston) oonsiden that Fnuicis was present at In- 
nocent Ill's death4)ed ("in cujus obttu fuit pnesentialiter S. Fiandscus")* 
Anal. Franc., I, p. 253. 


IT is first of all necessary to observe that the Church of 
Rome, previous to the establishment of the Portiuncula 
indulgence, had only one plenary indulgence — the one 
granted to those who took up the Cross and joined the 
ranks of the Crusaders. Every one who did this, and fulfilled 
the requirements of confessing his sins and obtained absolu- ' 
tion from a priest, obtained complete remission of the Church 
penances as well as of the pimishment of Purgatory, so that 
his soul could appear before God directly after death. 

This Indulgence of the Crusade — Indtdgeniia de Terra 
Sancia — was later extended, so as to apply to anyone who 
for one reason or another did not personally join the ranks 
of the Crusaders, but with money or with armed men sus- 
tained the Holy War. It was also the Franciscans — some* 
thing which in this connection is of the greatest importance — 
who obtained from the Pope the right of distributing this 
indulgence, extended as above stated.^ 

Whenever the Church decreed an indulgence in other cases 
— as on the consecration of a church — it was done in a 
distinctively different form. The Lateran Council of 121 5 
had imposed further restrictions on this custom. On the 
consecration of a church — the Coimdl decreed — an indul- 
gence of only one year canonical penance should be granted, 
and on the recurring anniversaries of the consecration only 
one of forty days.* At the consecration of the church of 
St. Francis in Assisi there was granted as something quite 
extraordinary an indulgence of three years to all who had 

^ See, for example, several buUs of Clement IV of the year 1268 in Sbaialea, 
BuU, fram,^ t. Ill, pp. 153 et seq., p. 164. 
s Maasi, Cone, cell., XXn, X049 et seq. 




come over the sea to take part in the festival, and of two 
years to those who had crossed the Alps, while the ordinary 
pilgrim had to be content with the usual indulgence of one 

What is it then, that Francis, in contrast to this, tried to 
get from the Pope, or better, did obtain from him? If we 
give credence to the authorities, he presented himself one 
fine day, accompanied by Brother Masseo of Marignano, 
before Honorius II and begged for the Portiimcula church 
the same indulgence granted to the Crusaders in the Holy 
Lands. ''I desire," he is said ^to have announced to the 
Pope, '' that every one who, with penitence for his sins, comes 
into this church and confesses his sins and is absolved by the 
priest, shall be free from all guilt and punishment for the sins 
of his life from the day of his baptism to the day when he 
entered the said church."* It was in vain that the Pope 
urged that the Roman Curia was not accustomed to grant 
such indulgences to any church; it was in vain that he offered 
to Francis one of the ordinary indulgences. Francis could 
not be moved, as he declared that the Lord himself had sent 
him in order to obtain this indulgence. Then the Pope 
suddenly, as if by the divine guidance, yielded the point, and 
now it remained to the Cardinals to restrict the new indul- 
gence, as Honorius depicted the injury it might do to the In- 
dulgence of the Crusade. It was to be vaUd for only one day 
in each year, from the vespers of the evening before through 
the full twenty-four hours following until sunset. Francis 
departed contented, and when the Pope asked him if he did 
not want a written authorization, he said it was superfluous, 
for ^* God will know how to bring his own work into the Ught." 

With this relation for a foundation a group of legends has 

1 Wadding, 1230, n. z. Potth., I, nr. 8556. P. A. Kinch C'Theol. Quartal- 
schrift," TObiiigen, 1906: "Der Pan^uncukhAUass,** pp. 8x et seq. and pp. 231 
et seq.) gives on page 325, note x, a quantity of other indications of the status 
of this affair. — That Gregory's indulgence was regarded as a very great proof 
of favor by contemporaries is seen in Thomas of Celano's words (d'Alen^on's 
ed., p. 445) : "Oarificat (Gregorius) etiam locom ejus (i.e. Ecdeslam S. Fran- 
dad) induigentiis et remiasionibus plurimis, per quas fides et devotio populi 
quotidie magis acaesdt" . 

* Icf . k, MC., ed. Da Gvefa^Dominicfaelli, p. 157. 


been built up, to which belongs the Rose-legend depicted by 
Overbeck on the facade of the Portiuncula chapel. These 
adornments of the recital first appear in works of the four- 
teenth century. What is given above can be referred to 
earlier sources. 

At the first glance this narration seems very probable in 
itself. Evecy biographer of Francis tells us how he loved his 
dear Portiuncula, and we also know how zealous he was for 
the conversion of sinners. He once saw in a vision how men 
from all places near and far came in streams around the little 
Portiuncula/ and one of his disdples had a similar vision.' 
^ Again, the dislike of documents is a characteristic of Frau- 
ds. In 1 2 ID he was satisfied with the verbal ratification of 
Innocent m, and at the Lateran Council he got nothing more. 
When Orlando dei Cattani gave him La Vema, this too was 
done '^ without any writing," as it is explicitly stated in the 
letter of gifts of the young Count Cattani in 1274. In his 
testament Frauds forbids most definitely his Brothers to 
seek written privileges from the Curia, '^whether for a church 
or for any odier place." * It is perfectly dear that such an 
answer as Francis gave to Honorius, according to the old 
story, is quite in the spirit of St. Frauds.^ 

It is quite another question if Francis really gave this 
answer; in other words, if such an interview ever took 

First and foremost, we must here remark that none of the 
undoubtedly authentic authorities of the thirteenth century 
contain a single reference to the Portiuncula indulgence. 
Thomas of Celano knows the indulgence which Gregory IX 
granted to the church of St. Francis in Assisi, but neither he 

* Ccl., V. pr., I, cap. XI, n. 27. 
' Leg. Ur, soc., XIII, 56. 

* Opusc, (Quaracchi), p. 80. 

' oil the other hand, the boldness with which Francis here ai^)ears before 
Honorius accords only poorly with his humble words to the same Pope, when 
he later through Carduial Hugolin obtained an audience with him. "Magnus 
timor," were the words used here, "et vericundia debet esse nobis, qui sumus 
magis pauperes et despecti ceteris religiosis, non solum ingredi ad vos, sed 
etiam stare ante ostium vestrum et praesumeie pulsare tabemaculum virtutis 
christianorum." Tres Sacii^ c. XVI (Amoni's ed.)> p. 92* Compare Cel., K. 
Pr„ I, cap. XXVn, n. 75, 


nor the old biographers of St. Francis have the least inkling 
of the existence of the Portiuncula indulgence. It is only 
much more recent authorities ^ho assert that this indulgence 
could be gained every year since 1216, on days appointed by 
Honorius ni, namely, from the evening of August i to the 
evening of the second. This remarkable silence of the official 
biographers may be regarded as the sequence of the non* 
existing Papal bull, or as a result of the opposition of Elias of 
Cortona and of his party to the *' Portiuncula men'' — the 
strict division of the Order. The biographers in question 
had to serve the party in power. 

If this was the correct conclusion, on the other hand we 
should expect to find the Portiuncula indulgence in the place 
of honor in the legend originating in the ranks of the strict 
division — as in the Speculum peffectiams, or in the FiorelH. 
But it is in vain that one looks even here for a trace of the 
legend given above. 

The tradition of the indulgence naturally can be referred, 
if not in the direct, then in the secondaiy line to Brother 
Leo and the other intimate friends of St. Francis. And in 
the first rank stands the testimony taken in the presence of 
numerous witnesses on October 31, 1277, and signed by a 
notary public in Arezzo, as given by two Franciscans, Brother 
Benedict of Arezzo, "who formerly was with St. Francis, 
when he still lived," and Brother Rayner of Arezzo, who de- 
clared himself a confidential friend of Brother Masseo from 
Marignano. In this document the two Franciscans testify 
that they had heard from Brother Masseo, who was "the 
truth itself," how he and Frauds went together to Perugia 
and obtained from Pope Honorius the above described indul- 
gence, "although the Pope said that the ApostoUc throne 
was not wont to give such an indulgence." 

The recital is very short, and the document is provided with 
a date which is quite complete and in all particulars correct.^ 

^"In anno Domini MCCLXXVII, nemine impenuite, Papa in ecclesia 10- 
nuna vacante." Rudolph of Hapsburgh had been dected in 1273, but was 
not crowned in 1277. The Papal throne was vacant from May so to November 
35* 1377* ukI the document is dated October 31. M. Paulus: Die 
pmg d$9 Portimcula-Ablasses in "Der Katholik," 1899, p. 193. 


The original is no longer in existence; Sabatier maintains 
that one of the copies now in Assisi dates from the end of 
the thirteenth century. 

Various other recitals of the same period rest upon the 
testimony of Brother Masseo through the intermediary of 
Brother Benedict of Arezzo. Sabatier has inserted them in 
his edition of Francesco Bartholi's book on the Portiuncula 
indulgence of about 1435; but if they originate with Brother 
John of La Verna or with Brother Otto of Aquasparta, they 
contain nothing new. It is only a new appearance of the 
original source — Masseo-Benedict — which we find in vari- 
ous places. That an old man, Pietro Zalfani, in his youth 
claims to have been present at the consecration of the Porti- 
uncula church, and that he says that he there saw Francis 
standing "with a paper in his hand," amounts to but little. 

Another group of witnesses of about the same time depend 
upon Brother Leo instead of Brother Masseo. A noblonan 
of Perugia, Jacopo Coppoli, who on February 14, 1276 gave 
the Perugian Franciscans the hill on which their old con- 
vent Monte Ripido stands, testifies at about this same time, 
and in a similar form to that of Brother Benedict of Arezzo, 
that he had heard Brother Leo tell about the Portiuncula 
indulgence. In the narration of Coppoli the Pope offers to 
Francis an indulgence of seven years, without satisfying him. 
He then offered the indulgence de terra sancUiy but the Cardinals 
caused hun to limit it. After Francis had told this to Brother 
Leo, he told him to say nothing of the indulgence for the 
present, '^for this indulgence shall remain hidden for a while, 
the Lord will in good time bring it out and reveal it." 

Wadding places, and certainly correctly, this testimony in 
the year 1277.^ This was two generations after the granting 
of the indulgence. It is dear that within the Order, or rather 
within its stricter party, to which Benedict of Arezzo belonged, 
the effort was msf^jde, first as strongly as possible to prove 
the existence of the Portiimcula indulgence, and secondly to 
explain why the indulgence was not aimoimced sooner. For 
this reason Brother Benedict had his testimony affirmed by 
a notary, and Jacob Coppoli's testimony was given in the 

^ NoU under 1377, n. z8. 


presence of numerous witnesses before the provincial minister 
for Umbria, Brother Angelo (i 270-1 280).* 

It was also about this time, or a little earlier, that Brother 
Francis of Fabriano obtained himself the Portiuncula indul- 
gence, and he tells also that he received from Brother Leo 
the tale of how Francis obtained it from the Pope.* It is 
definitely certain that Francis of Fabriano wrote the work 
to which we refer, in his latter years, for he quotes a docu- 
ment which at the earliest may be of 13 10. Brother Francis, 
who was bom in 1251 and died in 1322, was sixty or seventy 
years old when he put down his reminiscences. There is no 
reason to doubt that Francis of Fabriano was in Portiuncula 
in the year referred to. We cannot set aside the explanation, 
that in his advanced age he may have had the indulgence as 
the object of his pilgrimage. From the beginning many 
Franciscans made the pilgrimage to the grave of their spiritual 
father and to Portiuncula, and in this connection it is of 
the greatest significance that Pope Nicholas IV — himself a 
Franciscan — speaks in a letter of May 14, 1284 of ''the 
numerous crowd of Brothers" who streamed to Assisi, but 
never names the Portiuncula indulgence as the reason of 
their going. According to this Pope the chiurch of San Fran- 
cesco containing the saint's tomb, as well as the Portiuncula 
chapel, were the objects of pilgrimage, and not the indul- 
gence, all being done ''to honor the saint." 

This accords with the fact that Angela of Foligno (1248- 
1309), soon after she entered the Third Order of St. Francis, 
made a pilgrimage to Assisi, but on this occasion never speaks 
of Portiuncula, but tells of two visits to the memorial church 
of San Francesco. And she is known to have been of the 
strict observance; the great chief of this party, Hubert of 
Casale, visited her shortly before her death and speaks of her 
in the prologue to his Arbor vitae with the greatest reverence. 
Naturally Angela's visit to Assisi may have fallen in a time 
of the year when the indulgence was not to be obtained; she 
may not have been there on the first or second day of August. 
StiU it is strange that she never says a word about Portiimcula. 

* Coll., n, p. $2. 

' Fhmz von Fabriano'a Testimony in A, SS,, Oct. n, p. 89. 


Everything indicates that the Portiuncula indulgence first 
began to be known only in the last quarter (in the last third 
if we accept Francis of Fabriano's words) of the thirteenth 
century. If it were allowable to apply modem conceptions 
to the ways of those days, we might be tempted to place the 
origin of the indulgence at the 50-year jubilee of the granting 
of the indulgence (12 12-1262). (Frauds of l^abriano's visit 
was made in 1268.) It is certain, that as soon as the indul- 
gence became known it awakened opposition — hence the 
notarial declarations of Benedict of Arezzo, Rainer, Coppoli, 
Zalfani. Even the great leader of the strict Franciscan 
observance, Peter John Olivi (i 248-1 298), took up the ques- 
tion of the indulgence. In a small — unfortunately undated 
— pamphlet he strives to uphold its authenticity, first on 
dogmatic and then on historic grounds. Unfortxmately the 
historic portion is lost. 

It is not to be wondered at, that in this dispute several 
Catholic investigators doubted or eved denied the origin of 
the indulgence to have been with St. Francis, so inadequately 
is it proved. Even the author of this book was once of the 
same opinion, and so expressed himself in the first edition of 
the same. According to my views at that time the Portiun- 
cula indulgence was only a localized indulgence de terra sancta 
or Crusaders' indulgence. Thus when the Holy Land- was 
lost (St. Jean d'Acre fell 1291, being the last stronghold of 
the Christians) the Indulgence of the Crusade, which the 
Pope had permitted the Franciscans to share, could only be 
obtained in Portiuncula. It was natural that the second 
of August should be chosen as the day for gaining the indul- 
gence, as this was the anniversary of the consecration of the 
church. Such a choice was not un-Franciscan. On August 
I is celebrated the festival of "St. Peter's Chains." Francis 
of Assisi's reverence for the saint was well known. And in 
the mass of this day in the collect is this passage : " O God Who 
didst let the blessed Peter the Apostle depart free and unin- 
jured from his bonds, we beg Thee to free us from the bonds of 
our sins." 

In the little Portiuncula chapel, the new terra sancta^ the 
Franciscans by virtue of the authorization already obtained 


shared on these da3rs the same plenary indulgence which 
formerly belonged to the Crusaders, and led penitent pilgrims 
out of the valley of sin and pxmishment into the holy land of 

In the four years which have passed since this chapter in 
my book was written, a most meritorious investigator of 
Franciscan history, Rev. Heribert Holzapfel in Mimich, has 
developed new view-points for the consideration of this 
question.^ Father Holzapfel agrees that in the lifetime of 
St. Frands the indulgence in question was little known and 
little used. ''It must impress us/' he writes, ''that all later 
authorities . . . only mention the fact that the indulgence 
was secured by St. Francis, but never say that it was much 
frequented dUier in the lifetime of the saint nor during the 
first decade following his death. Some causes must then have 
been operative which, in the beginning at least, hindered the 
dissemination of the indulgence. In seeking these causes we 
are driven into the region of conjecture. I may be permitted 
to suggest the following solution for discussion. 

"The Pope conceded the indulgence only after long persua* 
sion. As we learn from later authorities, the Cardinals were 
dedded enemies of the proposition, as were the Bishops of the 
vidnity" (i.e., in Assisi, Foligno, Perugia, Gubbio, etc.). 
"These Bishops,'' says Father Holzapfel, '^did not wish sudi 
an extraordinary demonstration of favor for the insignificant 
Portiuncula chapel and expressed themselves to St. Frands 
on the subject in various wa3rS| — and the more as they doubt- 
less knew the feeling of the Curia." It would be in exact 
accord with the spirit of St. Francis that he would remain 
silent from his reverence for the priesthood. His was no 
combative nature, and here as in other instances yielded. 
"That he did it willingly we do not assert; it may have hurt 
him, like many another thing that he had to jddd to and 
could not change. He will have spoken also of the disap- 
pointment with his trusted companions. ... He will have 
comforted himself with the prospects of a better future and 
have exhorted them for the present to practise patient sub- 

^ "Die EfUsUkung des Partiuncula-Ablasses** Arcfaivum FFandscanum His- 
toricum, I, Quaraccfai, 1908, pp. 3x-44- 


mission. This does not exclude the possibility that the few 
Friars sharing his knowledge or similar people in the world 
may have used the indulgence as granted, only we must 
not think of a wide dissemination of it. The circle of those 
knowing of it would grow with time and consequently the 
frequentation of the indulgence, but also the opposition of its 
enemies. Then the Friars who were still living felt it their 
duty to leave authentic proof of what they knew so welL 
They need fear no longer the enmity of the Curia, which was 
very friendly to the Order, nor the enmity of the Bishops, at 
least not of the directly interested Bishops of Assisi, who for 
some time had been Franciscans.^ 

This hypothesis explains the silence of the biographers. 
If, moreover, the Speculum perfedioniSf which was written 
in the year 13 18, when the indulgence was perfectly known 
on all sides, never mentions it, why should the silence of the 
earlier biographers prove anything against the existence of 
the indulgence at the period when they wrote? 

As in so many other questions of Franciscan investigation, 
we here have to refer to approved authorities of the olden 

^ A. a. O., pp. 43-44. Compare Lemmeiis in "Der Katholik/' March and 
April, 1908: *'Dit diUstem Zeugmsu /Or dm PortimadorAUass.** 


TDS community of Brothers, which Francis of Assisi 
had founded, was from the very first an order of peni- 
tents and apostUSy^ and Frauds himself was the Su- 
perior of the Order. He it was who had written the 
Rules of the Order and had promised obedience to the Pope, 
he it was to whom the permission to preach was given, and 
through whom the others participated therein. It is certain 
that the first six Brothers had the same right as Francis to 
receive new members into the Order, but the new members 
were taken to Portiuncula, there to receive the robe of peni- 
tence from Francis himself.* This reception into the Brother- 
hood was regarded as equivalent in weight to the old-time 
conversio of the orders of monkhood — by it one left the 
world with its pomp and glory.' As a sign of this the suppli- 
cant gave his possessions to the poor. 

Again, from the very first, Francis had liked to have his 
Brothers about him as much as possible. When the first 
disciples were sent out on their mission joumejrs, he had 
accordingly arranged a time (statute termino) when they should 
all again meet at Portiimcula.^ Later there were arranged 
once for all two such terms in the 3rear, when all the Brothers 

^ "viri poenitentes de Assisio" (Tres Socii, cap. X). "Accedat f rater Salo- 
moD de Qidine Apostolonim" (Ecdeston in And, Franc,, I, p. 222). 

' Tres SocHy XI, 41. Anon. Penis., A» SS., Oct. II, p. 600, n. 291. 

* "aaecnlo nequam com pompis snis penitus derelicto intiavit religionem." 
Tres SocH, Xm, 56. This is in entire disagreement with the theory of Kail 
MdHer, Sabatier and Mandonnet making the origin of the Franciscan Order a 
brotherhood essentially from the Orders of the Church, of which they would 
can the 8o<aUed "Third Order" a relic. See W. GOtz: ''Die unpriin^ichm 
IdeaU des M, Prang," ''Wat, Vierteljahnchrilt," VI (zQoa)^ pp. ig-so- 

« Tres SocH, XI, 41- 



should meet at Portiuncula — at Pentecost and on the feast 
of St. Michael (September 29).^ 

Of these two meetings — or, as they were called, using an 
expression from the older days of convent life, Chapters — 
Pentecost Chapter was the most important. ''Then all the 
Brothers came together and discussed how best they should 
maintain the Rule." They held a feast in frugality and joy, 
after which Francis preached. His Adtnonitiones or Admoni- 
tions, which will be spoken of later, evidently originated at 
these Chapter-meetings. They e]q>lained perhaps a text 
from the Sermon on the Mount or sentences such as, ''For he 
that will save his life, shall lose it," "I am not here to be 
served but to serve," he who "doth not renounce all that he 
possesseth cannot be my disciple." Most often and most will- 
ingly he spoke on his favorite theme — reverence for the sac- 
rament of the altar, and the reverence for priests which flows 
from it. Sometimes he would have the Brothers kiss the head 
of the horse a priest rode on. "And always have peace in 
your hearts, you who come to bring others peace." If there- 
fore any disciple felt disturbed by temptations, he went to 
the Master and took him into his confidence, and none went 
away uncomforted. 

To the last Francis undertook the choosing of preachers 
whom he afterwards sent to the various mission-districts or 
Prtmnces, as the expression became later. In this choosing 
he was led only by considerations of the fitness of the one 
reconunended, and sent out Lay-brothers as willingly as 
priests. With all his overflowing fatherly heart he finally 
blessed them all, and two and two they went off gladly into 
the world, "like strangers and like pilgrims," without other 
burden than the books they needed to say their Office out of.* 

Francis' always strongly personal preaching at these meet- 
ings often approached the poetical. This passage from one 
of his admonitions unmistakably recalling the church 

^ Tres Sifcii, XIV, 57. We cumot be sutpriaed that Jacques de Vitry only 
mentioiis one Chapter aasembly; he only knew the Order from a visit of short 
duration. The Pentecost Chapter was, moreover, the principal one. 

* Tres Socii, cap. XIV. Wadding states (zai6, n. i) that Francis held the 
first Chapter in imitation of the great Lateran Council (121$). 


Maundy Thursday hymn, Ubi ckarUas et amofy Deus ibi est, 
may in this connection be cited here : 

"Where charity is and wisdom is, is neither fear nor igno- 
rance. Where patience is and humility is, is neither unquiet 
nor anger. Where poverty is and joy is, is neither cupidity 
nor covetousness. Where the fear of the Lord stands at the 
door, the evil enemy cannot enter. Where compassion is 
and prudence is, is neither waste nor hardness of heart. "^ 

Like all model Christians Francis turned with special 
devotion to the Blessed Virgin and Mother of God, Mary. 
And troubadour as he was, he sang one of his most beautiful 
lauds in praise of all the virtues ^'with which the Blessed 
Virgin was adorned, and which should be the ornaments of 
all holy souls":* 

''Hail, Queen Wisdom," he cries, "the Lord save thee with 
thy sister holy pure simplicity. Lady holy poverty, the 
Lord save thee with thy sister holy humility, the Lord save 
thee with thy sister holy obedience. All you most holy 
virtues, may tiie Lord from whom you proceed and come save 
you. . . . Holy wisdom confounds Satan and all his wicked- 
nesses. Pure holy simplicity confounds all the wisdom of 
this world and the wisdom of the flesh. Holy poverty con- 
founds all cupidity and avarice and the cares of this world. 
Holy hiunility confounds pride and all men of this world and 
all things which are in the world. Holy charity confounds 
all diabolical and carnal temptations and all carnal fears. 
Holy obedience confounds all corporal and carnal wishes and 
keeps the body mortified to the obedience of the spirit and to 
the obedience of its brother and makes man subject to all 
men of this world, and not only to men, but even to all ani- 
mals and beasts . . ." 

From this praise of all virtues, which inevitably reminds 
one of Giotto's exaltation of "the holy obedience," "the 
holy chastity," and "the holy poverty" in the frescoes over 
the grave of St. Francis in Assisi, the poet takes his flight up 
to the throne of the purest Virgin: 

> Admonitio XXVII. 

'"De virtutibufl quibus decorata fuit Sancta Viigo et debet esse sancta 
anima" {Opuicida^ p. 21 + p. 123. Boehmer's **AnaUktem," p. 165 -f p. 70). 




HaU Holy Lady, Most Holy Queen, Mary Mother of God, 
who art a Virgin for ever, chosen from heaven by the most 
holy Father, whom He consecrated with the most holy beloved 
Son and the Paraclete Spirit, in whom was and is all plenitude 
of grace and all good. Hail His palace. Hail His tabernacle. 
Hail His house. Hail His vesture. Hail His handmaid. Hail 
His mother and all you holy virtues, which by grace and 
illumination of the Holy Ghost may you pour into the hearts 
of the faithful, and may you make out of the faithless ones 
men faithful to God." 

After having ended such a song of praise to Mary, taken as 
the Christian ideal, it may have been that Francis cried out: 

"We Friars Minor, what are we other than God's singers 
and players, who seek to draw hearts upwards and to fill 
them with spiritual joy? " ^ To play good people into heaveg, 
to sing before every one's door about the beauty and delight 
of serving the Lord — this Frauds had tried personally in 
Assisi, and he assigned the same troubadoiur's ways to his 
Brothers. "Do you not know, dearest Brother," he asked 
Brother Giles, "that holy contrition and holy humility and 
holy charity and holy joy make the soul good and happy?"' 
There were many who in St. Francis of Assisi's time did not 
know this, and tlierefore God's singers, jaculaiares Dei, went 
out into the world to sing this into the hearts of men. 

From the beginning the chapter-meetings were thus practi- 
cally gatherings for mutual edification. The Order had no 
other organization — and what was there to organize? " They 
carry neither purse nor bag with them on their way, neither 
bread nor money in their belt not shoes on their feet. . . . 
They have no churches, no convents, no fields, nor vineyards 
nor animals nor houses nor property nor where they can harbor 
their heads. They use neither fur nor linen, but only woollen 
habits with hoods, neither cap nor cape nor over-garment 
nor any other raiment. If anyone asks them to a meal they 

^ "Quid enim sunt aervi Dei, nisi quidam jocoktofes ejus, qui ooida homi- 
nmn erigere debent et movere ad Istitiam spiritualem?" "£t spedaliter hoc 
dicebat de fratribus minoribus qui dati sunt populo Dei pro ejus salute. " Spec 
ftff.f cap. 100. 

* Dicta b. A$pdii (Quaiacchi, 190$), p. 5. DoUrina di FraU EgidiOf cap. L 


eat and drink what is set before them. If ansrthing is given 
them for pity, nothing is kept for the next day. . . . And 
not only by their words, but by their holy life and perfect 
way of life they draw many of all classes to despise the world, 
to leave house and home and great possessions and put on the 
habit of the Friars Minor, which is a plain tunic and a rope 
around the waist." ^ 

For men who lived thus, many laws and regulations were 
not necessary. Do the larks need more than a drink of 
water out of the spring and the food they can gather in the 
fields, to again fly up into the sky and sing the praise of God 
so ezultingly that all must stop and look upwards? '^There- 
fore Brother Francis loved also above all birds the bird which 
in everyday language is calljed the crested lark, and he said of 
it: 'Sister lark has a hood like us and is an humble bird, for 
it goes willingly along the wayside and finds a grain of com 
for itself. ... Its plumage is of the same color as the earth 
and is an example to us that we shall not have fine and colored 
clothes, but simple and plain. . . . But when they fly upwards 
they praise God so devoutly, like good Brothers of our Order, 
whose life is in the heavens, and whose pleasure is always in 
glorifying God.'"* 

This happy unconfined bird-life could not be for ever. 
More and more joined the Brotherhood. And not only 
young men came to them, but women too, married and unmar- 
ried, even married men came. It was possible to help the 
young unmarried women; they were told to enter a convent, 
and one of the Brothers undertook temporarily to guide them 
and help them. But old married men came and said: ''We 
have wives from whom we cannot separate! Teach us how 
to live! " And they too must be looked after — but in what 

^ Jacques de ^try: Hist. orietU., 11, cap. 3a (Boehmer: "Analekien" pp. 


*Spec. fierf,f cap. Z13. 

' Anon. Perus,: *' Multaemulieres, viigines eUam non habentes viros, audientes 
pnedicationem eorum, veniebant coide oompuncto ad eos dicentes: Quid 
fademus autem uos? Vobiscum esse non possumus. Didte ergo nobis, quo- 
modo salvaie nostras animas valeamus. Ad hoc ordinaverunt per singulas 
dvitates, quibus potueiant, monasteria redusa ad poenitentiam ladendam. 


The movement Francis had awakened bid fair to mount 
over his head. He did not like his Brothers to have the super- 
intendence of nuns — '1 am afraid the devil will give us 
Sisters around our necks in place of the wives we have given 
up for the sake of God," he may have said.^ And in Cannara 
he himself had to restrain his hearers' zeal — all wished to 
follow him, men and women, married and unmarried, the whole 
population of the village. ''Be not too hasty," he advised 
them, "I will think over what I can advise you for your 

The progress of the Order brought great difficulties with it. 
Francis on the one hand could only rejoice at the numbers of 
his army, but on the other hand he had no place to harbor 
them in. His net, like that of the Apostles, was ready to 
tear imder the too rich draught of fishes. 

The rules of the Order, he in his time "with few and simple 
words" had written, would answer for wandering evangelists 
and musicians, but would not suffice for nims and still less 
for married people. A flock of larks Francis would willingly 
undertake to guide or to lead — the wild birds always gladly 
obeyed him ! But men in the ranks of citizens, and maidens 
longing for the convent life, tame, useful beings and mystic 
doves, that cooed in the mountain clefts of Tabor or of Carmel 
— how should he, simplex et idiotaj "the simple and foolish," 
give them rules of life or laws? 

Involuntarily Francis looked for a helping hand. It was 
nearer to him than he thought — it was stretched out, white, 
well-kept and strong, adorned with the bishop's amethyst 
ring, stretched out to his help by the nephew of Innocent ni, 
the Bishop of Ostia and Velletri, Cardinal Hugolin. 

Constituerunt autem unum de f ratribus, qui easet vbitator et oorrectcM' eonim. 
Similiter et viri uxores habentes dicebant: uxores habemus, quae dimitti se 
non patiuntur. Docete ergo nos, quam viam tenere salubriter valeamus." 
A. SS.f Oct. II, p. 600, n. 291. 

^ Wadd., I3Z9, n. 45. Compare Reg. sec., cap. XI: "Quod fntres dob 
ingrediantur monasteria monacharum." 

• Actus, cap. XVI, w. 15-16. 


HUGO or Hugolin, Count of Anagni, was when Francis 
first knew him a man of nearly seventy years, 
and of awe-inspiring and engaging appearance. 
He possessed all the highest polish of the day, had 
studied in Bologna and Paris, and was also characterized by 
an upright piety. His two principal interests were the free- 
dom of the Chiurch and the promotion of the cloister Ufe. In 
1188 he had, with danger of his Ufe, defended the cause of the 
Church against the usurper Markwald (see page 22), and 
he stood in close and permanent relations with the Camaldo- 
lites, the monks of Cluny, the congregation of St. Flore (for 
whom he built two new convents), and also later with the 
Franciscans and the Dominicans. In his native land, Anagni, 
he founded a poor-house with church annexed thereto, and in 
October, 12 16, gave it over to the Hospital Brothers from 
Altopasdo in Tuscany.^ In 11 98 he was Papal Chaplain as 
well as Cardinal-deacon with the titular church of St. Eus^ 
tachio. In May, 1206, he was nominated to the bishopric of 
Ostia and Velletri, the highest position in the Church next to 
Pope. It was not necessary to possess the power of a seer to 
see in him the coming Pope,^ as it is said Francis did. Also 
as Gregory DC, Hugolin continued to be a true friend and 
benefactor of the religious orders — among other things he 
founded with his own means a Franciscan convent in Viterbo 
and a convent for the poor Clares in Rome (San Cosmiato). 
In Lombardy too and in Tuscany several convents owe their 

* Joseph Felten: " Pabst Gregor IX " (Freib. i Bres., x886), pp. 16-19. Gdtz in 
''Hist. Vierteljahnschrift," VI (1905), p. 43. Acfaitle Luchaire: Innocent III 
it ritaUe (Paris, 1905), passim, 

* Cd., Vita pr., I, V, n. 100. 



existence to him.^ To this man it fell — as his biographer 
puts it — ''to find the Order of the Friars Minor in insecurity 
and formless and to give it form/' * 

As ahready told, the first acquaintance between Francis 
and Hugolin dates from the summer of 1216, when the Papal 
Court was established in Perugia. No closer relations were 
for the present established.' 

Next year, on May 14, 1217, Francis held his usual Pente- 
cost Chapter at Portiuncula.^ He had made his appearance 
only with grave apprehensions. On his way thither he had 
<^>ened his heart to a friend. ''When I now come to the 
Chapter/' said he, "the Brothers ask me to preach as usual, 
and accordingly I do so. But what if all the Brothers, when 
I am ready to begin, start to cry out against me: 'We do not 
want thee to nde over us any longer, for thou art not eloquent, 
as would become thee and as thou oughtest to be, and thou 
art too small and simple, and we are ashamed to have so simple 
and poop-looking a Superior over us, and therefore thou 
shalt no longer be called our supreme head!' And then they 
will cast me out with great scorn!"* 

Anxious before the many accomplished book-learned 
people who now had come into the Brotherhood, Francis 
began to preach in his usual simple way. And a wonder 
happened — no one called out against him, on the contrary 
all the Brothers were greatly edified and filled with peace! 
Then Francis took courage and came out with his great plan: 
— that now, when the Brothers were so many, they ought to 
go out on missions, not only in Italy but also to coimtries 
on the other side of the mountains, to Germany, to Himgary, 
to France and Spain, yes, even to the Holy Land. This 
proposal was received with favor, and they started to divide, 
not only Italy but also the rest of the world into mission- 

* Felten, p. 47. 

* "minorum ordinem . . . sub limite incerto rogantem novae regulae tra^ 
ditione direxit et infonnavxt informem." Vita Gregor, IX (Muratori), III, 
75» quoted in Felten, p. 45, note z. 

» Cel., V, pr., I, c. XXVn, n. 74. 

* When Jordanus advances the date of this chapter to 12x9 (Anal, PranCt 
I, p. 2) it is due to one of those failures in memory for which he has 
tlrudy apologized. 

' Spec, ptrf^f cap. 64. 


districts, Pf evinces. The Holy Land was a province in itself, 
and over it a man was placed, for whom Frands had a great 
liking, Elias Bombarone.^ For himself he chose to go to 
France, ''because there, more than in all other Catholic 
countries, they have the devotion to our Lord's Body."' On 
leaving he held one of his usual sermons of admonition, in 
which he counselled the Brothers to go about in much silence 
and inward prayer, ''just as if you were in a hermitage or a 
cell. For wherever we go or stay we have with us a cell. 
Brother Body is our cell, and the soul sits in it like a hermit 
and thinks of God and prays to Him."* 

Li the FioreUi this journey of Francis to France is described 
with many additions.^ ^fihsX is absolutely definite is that 
Francis in the latter half of May, 1217, came to Florence, 
and there sought Cardinal Hugolin. 

Thomas of Celano is undoubtedly right when he sxys that 
the acquaintance between Francis and Hugolin was as yet not 
intimate.^ They had each heard the other praised for goodness 
and piety and were thus prepared in advance to enter into 
closer friendship. Hugolin was sent by Honorius III as 
Papal Lqcate to Tuscany with the double task of establishing 
peace between the perpetually contending republics and to 
preach a crusade.* As soon as Francis on his arrival at 
Florence found out that the Cardinal was there, he sought 
him out — simply on the principle he followed of always 

^ Jordanus a Gitno, AfuH. Pratic,, I, p. 4, n. 9. Compare Anol, Pranc., in, 
p. 10. 

' Spec, perf.f cap. 65. 

' "Frater enim cx>rpus est oeDa nostxa, et anima est cremita qui moratur 
intus in cella ad oiandum Dominum et meditandum de ipso." Spec, perf.. 
Sab. ed., p. X3i. 

* Cap. XIII. Anal. Prone,, m, pp. X17 et seq. Frands went to Rome and 
visited the Apostles' graves, et al. 

*"NQndum alter alteri ecat praedpua familiaritate conjunctus, sed sola 
fama beatae vitae." Cd., V. pr., I, XXVII, n. 74. 

• Fclten: "Papa Gregor IX" (Frdb. i Br., 1886), pp. 31-35, p. 42. Compare 
Afckhio delta R. Soc. Romana di Storia Pairia, vol. XII (Roma, 1889), p. 34a, 
and Honorius Ill's Bull of January 33, 1317 (Potth., I, nr. 5430) and of Mardi 6, 
X3I7 (Potth., I, nr. 5487 and 5488), by wfaidi the Pope commends Hugolin's 
legation to the Church authorities in Lombardy and Tuscany as well as to the 
authorities of Pisa. In May, 1317, Hugolin stopped for a time in Genoa {Mon. 
Germ. SS., XVm, p. 138); thence he went to Florence. 


seeking quarters with the deigy, rather than with lay-people.^ 
The Cardinal received him with great cordiality, and a con- 
versation began in which Francis lightened his burdened 
heart, as he had done in former days to Bishop Guido in 
Assisi. The end was that Francis cast himself at the feet of 
the reverend prelate and conjured him to take up his and his 
Brothers' affairs. This Hugolin promised with pleasure, and 
Francis from now on looked on him as his spiritual father, to 
whom he showed filial reverence and obedience. 

The first effect of this new relation was that Francis aban- 
doned his journey to France. '' Brother Frands,'' said 
HugoUn, ^'I do not want you to go over the Alps. For there 
are many prelates in the Curia at Rome who do not feel well 
disposed towards you. But I and the other Cardinals, who feel 
well towards you, can help and protect you better if you do 
not go too far away."* In vain did Francis plead that 
he could not send his Brothers on missionary journeys 
to far and dangerous lands, while he stayed home and 
saved his own skin. The Cardinal was inunovable, and 
Francis had, instead of going himself to France, to send 
there the ^'Verse-king," Brother Padficus, along with many 
other Brothers.' 

What now first of all attracted Hugolin and set his organ- 
izdng spirit at work was the movement which the preach- 
ing of the Friars Minor started in the world of women.^ 
Francis had taken care himself of Clara and her Sisters by 
proouring for them the Convent of San Damiano; he had 
promised to look after them, both in the spiritual and temporal 

1 CeL, V. pr., I, XXVn, n. 75. Compare Tres SocU, XIV: "Et qiuiido 
erat hoia hoflpitandi, libentius erant cum sacerdotibus quam cum laids hujua 
aaeculi." (Amoni's ed., pp. 85-86.) 

' Fnmds' earlier friend in the College of Cardinals, John of St. Paulo, Cardi- 
nal of S. Prisca and Sabine Bishop, died the year before. (Eubd: Hierarckia 
cath, Miedii aeoiy I, p. 36, and p. 3i n. x , nr. 13.) Among the new friends of Frands 
of Assisi in the College of Cardinals, Leo Brancaleone takes a foremost place. 
In X303 he was nominated Cardinal-presbyter with the titular church of 
S. Croce in Jerusalem. His signature is foimd on Papal bulb until May 23, 
X334 (Eubel, p. 4). Compare Spec, perf.f cap. 67. Later (1219) the above men- 
tioned Nicholas Chiaramonti was made cardinal (Eubd p. 37), and Frands 
had thereby obtained a new friend in the Curia. 

• Spec, perf., cap. 65. 

^ See pp. 179-180. 


sense, as long as he lived.^ But this promise could not be 
extended to include all of those who now came and asked for 
the Brothers to guide them to salvationl 

The Forma vivendi or Rule of Life, which Frauds had given 
Clara and her Sixers, simply told them to ''Uve after the 
gospel," that is to say,- in poverty, labor, and prayer. After 
having distributed their possessions to the poor, the Sisters 
in San Damiano could not again accept any property, either 
themselves or by an intermediary; the only exception was 
the convent itself with so much land around it as was required 
for its isolation. But this land was not to be cultivated, 
except as a garden for the needs of the Sisters.* This Privil^e 
of Poverty was what Clara, apparently by Frauds' inter- 
vention, in 1 21 5 had had ratified by Innocent III.* 

This was all the rule there was for Clara and her Sisters, 
and this Rule applied — this we must note well — only (o 
San Damiano, for the simple reason that Francis had never 
thought of the possibility of more convents of the same kind.^ 
Now when there was talk of how to dispose of the many 
young women who gathered together in all the towns and 
wished to live a religious life, Hugolin was entirely free.* 

In the coiurse of the years 1217 -1219 we find him therefore 
busy in establishing the Order which has since come to be 
called the Clares, but which in the documents of the time is 
called by the most varying names. Of the highest importance 
to the understanding of the evolution of the Order of the 

^ TaUus originaies (Quar., 1897), p. 92. 

' The sisters were advised by Clara to observe their vow of poverty "in doq 
recipiendo vel habendo possessionem vel proprietatem per se neque per inter- 
positam personam . . . nisi quantum terrae pro honestate et remotione mo- 
nasterii necessitas requirit; et ilia terra non laboretur, nisi pro horto ad 
necessitatem ipsarum." Reg, S, Clarae, cap. VI. (Texius orig., pp. 64-65.) 

' Test, S. Clarae (Textus, p. 277). 0>mpare pp. 130- 131. 

* "Ipsis*' (Clara and her sisters) "beatus Franciscus formulam vitae tradidit/' 
Hugolin himself says explicitly (Bull. Franc. , 1, p. 243). 

* I lay great stress on this, like Lempp: "Die AnfUnge des Klarissenordens,** 
in Brieger's "Zeitachrift f. Kgsch.," XIII, pp. 18X-245. Of "violent conduct" 
on Hugolin's part "against Francis' directions" (p. 243) there can be no reason- 
able discussion. S. Damiano and the Sisters there cloistered were one thing for 
Francis, the new convents which were now founded were something different; 
It was for S. Damiano alone that he had undertaken to care (Wadding, 12x9^ 
n. 44: "huius solius curam"). 


Clares, is a letter of August 27, 1218 from Honorius m 
to Hugolin. It is an answer to a letter from the Cardinal, in 
which he had informed the Pope that several maidens and 
other women wished to flee from the pomps and vanities of the 
world and to prepare for themselves abiding places where 
they could live without owning anything, with the exception 
of these houses and the chapel or church appertaining thereto. 
Several pieces of land haa been offered to Hugolin for this 
object, and now he asked for full authority to accept these 
pieces of land in the name of the Church of Rome, so that the 
convents built thereon would be out of the jurisdiction of 
the local bishop and directly subject to Rome. Honorius 
granted this authority in his answer; no other churchly or 
temporal authority should have an3rthing to say about these 
convents, and this position of exemption should continue as 
long as the Sisters aiSected by it should abide by their vow of 

Even before Hugolin had received this letter, Bishop John 
of Perugia, July 31, 1218, had given his permission for the 
erection of a convent for nuns of the above description, upon 
Monteluce by Perugia. In exchange for his renunciation of 
his jurisdiction over the convent he exacted only a tribute 
of a pound of wax to be given every isth of August.* At 
about the same time Hugolin took steps for the establishment 
of three exactly similar convents — one in Siena, outside of 
Porta Camollia, one in Lucca (St. Maria in Gattajola), and 
finally one in Monticelli near Florence.' 

At first the only requirement for the religious life in these 
convents was poverty. It was the Franciscan preaching and 
the Franciscan life which had drawn these women out of the 
world and into the convent. 

When the problem was to establish a proper Rule for the 

^ Bull LUerae tuae (Sbaralea, BuU, Pfane,^ I, p. i): "quamplures virgines et 
aliae mulieres . . . deddenuit fugere pompas et divitias hujus mundi et fobri- 
cari sibi aliqua domidlia in quibus vivant nihil poendentes sub ooelo, exceptis 
domiciliis ipsis et construendis oratoriis in eiadem." (Potth., I, 5896.) 

* Sbar., I, 635-636. The Sisters ate there called AnciUae CkrisH. See Hono- 
rius Ill's Bull of September 24, 1222, to '' Abbesses and nuns (mom4dibus) in the 
convent S. Maria of Monteluce," Sbar., I, pp. 13 et seq. (Potth., I, 6879c). 

' Siena: Sbar., I, p. 11, Potth., I, 6879b; Lucca: Sbar., I, p. xo, Potth., I* 
6879a; Florence: Sbar., I, p. 3, Potth., I, 6179. 


Order for these new convents, the obvious thing for Hugolin 
to do was to consult the Lateran Council of 1215 and its 
IfUerdidion of New Orders. Thb great assemblage of the 
Church, taking into consideration the so frequently proposed 
new Orders and the resulting confusion^ determined that for 
the future no new Rules of an Order should be approved by 
the Church, but that those who wished to found a new con- 
vent or establish a new Order should be instructed to accept 
one of the old and tested Rules.^ 

One of the first to whom this regulation applied was St. 
Dominic' According to John of Saxony the Dominicans as 
well as the Friars Minor were definitely accepted by the Lateran 
Council, but neither of them obtained Papal sanction of their 
Rule. Dominic was even told to go home again and talk 
over with his Brothers as to which of the Rules, already in 
existence, they would decide to choose.' They chose the 
Premonstratensian Rule, and Honorius ratified this choice, 
when he explicitly defined the Dominicans as ''a canonical 
Order after the Rule of St. Augustin." * 

Exactly in the same way Hugolin had to proceed in the 
case of tiiie nuns of St. Clare. As Dominic chose the Pre- 
monstratensian Rule for himself and his associates. Cardinal 
Hugolin now chose for the Franciscan Sisters the oldest and 
most respected of all the Rules of Orders of the West — the 
Rule of the Benedictines. What Francis expressly stood by 

>"Ne nimia religionum divenitas gravem in ecdesia Dei oonfusioiiem 
inducat, firmiter prohibemus, ne quis de cetero novam rdigionem inveniat; 
aed quicumque voluerit ad religionem oonveiti, imam de appiobatis a^nmat, 
Similiter qui voluerit teligiosam domum fundare de novo, itgulam et insti- 
tutionem acdpiat de religionibus approlMitis." {A» SS,^ Oct. II. p. 604, 
n. 308. Labbe, XI, col. 165 and 168). 

' Bierfreund's assertion in the first volume of his hock on Florence, where 
he says that Dominic was the Pope's and Curia's great friend and obtained afl 
the privileges he wanted, in distinction to Frands, is quite without ground. 
See A, 55., Aug. i, pp. 437 et seq., 

'"In quo concilio ordines fratrum prcdicatorum et minorum, qui tunc 
lecenter surrexerunt . . . recepti sunt, sed nondum confirmati; quia idem 
Innocentius ad eorum confirmationem durus fuit" Vilae fratrum x., I, 
c XIV (A. SS., p. 604, n. 310). 

^"ordo canonicus secundum beati AugusUni regulam." Honorius m, 
BuD of December 23, 12x6 (Potth., I, 5403). Echard therefore says also: 
"non tam ordinem novum erezit [Honorius] quam ordinem canonicom auzit 
in apostolicum" U. SS., Aug. x, p. 458, n. 4x6). 


as an inevitable basic principle, that the evangelical poverty 
must not be impaired, Hugolin adhered to accurately ; not once 
could the Sisters acquire ownership of the groxmd on which 
the convents were built; they belonged to Hugolin in the 
name of the Church. In exactly the same spirit Francis 
had not wished to own Porduncula, but continued to regard 
the land as belonging to the Boiedictines, and to pay them 
a yearly rent for it.^ 

^ Spec, perf,, cap. 55 (Sab. ed., p. 98). It b here dearly rtated that Frauds 
did not wish the Brothers to dwell in a place, which was not "subtus dominie 
aliquonim." Therefore Portiimcuki is named even in 1244 in a document 
as belonging to the Abbey on Monte Subasio (Sab. ditto, p. 269}. Not Hugo- 
lin, as Lempp would have it, but Frauds himself introduced this diffeienoe 
between dominium and usus^ ownership and use. 

Lempp seems in his artide to ascribe a wngular meaning to the &ct that 
Hugolin had a forest made over to the Sisters m GatUjola; he thinks that 
this must have involved a breach of their poverty brought s^ut by HugoUn* 
because it was a source of revenue for them. In the same way the great Bene- 
dictine abbeys owned forests, pastures, lakes, etc. From the Bull in question 
it is dear that the requisite jforest only is referred to, because the whole piece 
was covered with trees. The woods were cut down when the convent was built. 
("Ostiensis episcopus a Rolandino Volpelli dve Lucanensi sUvam quamdam 
quam habebat in loco, qui Gattajola didtur . . . nostro nomine recepisset; et 
in mtmasterio Hn cansirucUf," H<»iorius lU writes. Sbaralea, I, p. xo.) Lempp 
admits that the Clares might own a convent with chapeL These could not 
float in the air, but the prindple of poverty is preserved by having the title to 
the land stand in some one else's name (in this case the Roman throne). This 
was quite in Frauds' spirit, and Lempp has gone wrong when he C'Zdtach. 
f. Kgsh./' XXin, pp. 626H529) dedares categorically that this ordinance was 
something quite different from what Francis and Qaxa desired. (See also 
Lemmens in "ROmische Quartalschrift," XVI, pp. 93-124.) 

Lempp again goes wrong when he (ditto, p. 628), as proof that the convent 
of the Clares, erected with Hugolin's approval, really owned nothing in the old 
monastic and anti-Franciscan sense of the word, quotes Honorius' Bull of De- 
cember 9, 1 2 19 to the Clares in Monticelii. It reads : " Praeterea locum vestrum 
et ea quae in ipsius drcuitu juste ac canonice possidetis, vobis . • . oonfirma- 
mus. Ad praestationem" (read: a praestatione) "dedmanim dausuiae vestiae 
et de hortorum fructibus vos esse decemimus inununes." (Sbar., I, p. 4.) 
The Sisters in Lucca are similariy addressed in a bull ("k>cum vestrum cum 
omnibus pertinentiis suis et omnia, quae juste et canonice possidetis." Sbar., 
p. xi) as are those in Monteluoe (p. 14). 

Two things here are important, which Lempp entirely overlooks: (a) locmm 
means in the older Franciscan terminology always a convent, and by ''quae in 
ipsius drcuitu" or "pertinentia" there is not meant the possession of surround- 
ing lands, but of outhouses and the like belonging to the convent; (6) the Pope 
adopts in all three Bulls the expression ''juste ac canonice." But rigkily amd 
€amameally the Clares could own nothing except domkUia and arakfria (Bull of 
Angust 97, 13x8). Finally, regarding the freedom from tithes for the fruits of 


The outlines of the Rule of Life of the Clares was in accord- 
ance with that of St. Benedict. They were not bound literally 
to this Rule — as Innocent IV expressly declared at a later 
period^ — they were only in general obliged to lead a life 
based on obedience, poverty and chastity. To this were 
added many rigid rules of cloister. The cloister could be 
entered by no stranger, and the active care of the sick, which, 
according to Jacques de Vitry, the Sisters were to have prac- 
tised, must now in every case cease.* It is certainly Francis 
who wished the rigid cloistering for preventing the meeting 
of his Brothers and the nims; Hugolin is said nevertheless 
to have wept from sympathy when he, with Francis, wrote 
down this requirement.' After Frauds' death he modified 
several of the most rigid of the observances.^ 

After 1219 the Clares lived after the Rule of St. Benedict, 
but with the addition of the so-called ^'Observances of St. 
Damian."^ In these last it is permissible to see with some 
degree of confidence the forma tdvendi which Francis in his 
time had given Clara, and which now was put into the second 
position, but was by no means inoperative.* The core of 
these observances {observanUae) was presumably the privi- 
legium of poverty, which Clara, after the custom of the 

their garden, granted to the Sisters, and in which Lempp seems to see an indi- 
cation of a definite ownership of the ground, the cultivation of the garden, with 
the uses of the convent always in view, was the only use of the ground Clara 
allowed. {Textus originaUs, p. 64.) 

» Sbar., I, pp. 315 and 350. 

> Boehmer, "Analekten" p. 98. Actus b. Ffancisct, cap. XLIII at end. 

' "Hoc audivi ab antiquis patribus quod ipse" [Hugolin] "cum beato Fran- 
cisco . . . ordinaverunt et scripserunt regulam sororum ordinis S. Damiani 
. . . propter cujus regulae arctitudinem partim devotione, partim compas- 
sione canlinalis ipse perfundebatur multis lacrymis in scribendo." {Anal, Pr,, 
ni, p. 708.) ' 

* Sbar., I, p. loz, p. 2x3, p. 315, p. 340. 

^"Obaervantias nihilominus regulares, quas juzta ordinem dominarum 
sanctae Mariae de sancto Damiano de Assisio praeter generalem beati Bene- 
dicti regulam vobis voluntarie indizistis." Sbaralea, I, p. 4. 

* For this must be thus understood, when Gregory IX, May 11, 1238, an* 
nounced to the prioress of the Gares, Agnes of Bohemia, that Francis' formitia 
tUaCf after the Rule of St. Benedict was introduced, must be regarded as "post- 
posita " (Sbar., I, p. 243). Frands, moreover, had not given out this rule of life 
publicly all at once, but after his habit in instalments ('*piura scripta tiadidil 
nobis," says Qara therefore. Text, orig., p. 276). 


time, tried to have confinned on the accession of each new 

As long as Francis lived there was no complete new Rule 
given to the Sisters in San Damiano or to the community of 
Poor Clares in general. It was only after the death of Francis 
that Gregory IX tried to introduce modifications, first of all 
in the Regulation of Poverty. ''On account of the unfavor- 
able times" it might be well to own a little land, on which 
the convent could be firmly founded, instead of depending 
entirely on begging. These views of his he also brought to 
the attention of Clara, but was (see pp. 136, 137) definitely 
refused. On September 17, 1228 Clara obtained from 
Gregory — as she had from his predecessor — the privilege 
of poverty.^ The Clares in Perugia had their privil^e re- 
newed June 16, 1229, and Clara's sbter, Agnes, obtained 
the same for her convent of Monticelli, near Florence.^ 

Other convents were less constant, however. Many of 
them in this very year had the right of ownership granted 
by Gregory, and not only the right of usufruct, but of inherit- 
ing and owning.' 

This defection filled Clara with anxiety and sorrow. As 
long as she lived, San Damiano would remain "the fortified 
tower of supreme poverty. " But how was it to be when she 
was gone? 

Thence came her ardor for rqpladng the Benedictine Rule 
and its proportion of the privilege of poverty with a com- 
pletely new, real Franciscan Rule of the Order. There can 
be no doubt that she herself wrote it and that it was the one 
which Innocent IV ratified two days before her death.^ 

This Rule is, as far as possible, modelled on the Franciscan 
Rule. Like it, it is divided into twelve chapters, each of 

^ Textus orig., p. 97. The original is still preserved in Assisi. 

' Perugia: Sbar., I> p. 5a Monticelli: Analeda Ffa9tc», III, p. 176 (letter 
from St. Agnes to her sister: "Inter haec sdatis, quod dominus papa satisfedt 
mihi . . . secundum intentionem vestram, et meam de causa, quam scttis, 
de facto videlicet proprii"). 

' In these cases it reads 'Wobis et per vos monasterio vestro concedimus et 
dooamus." Sbar., I, 73. Bull of July x8, 1231. Compare ^^^^v^rrn (aa 
before), p. 107. 

* See p. 136. 


them not greatly differing from Hugolin's and Frands' Rule 
of 1 2 19. But tiie point on which Clara's Rule is based is 
in the very first place the obligation of poverty. As she 
came to this section she ceased to be the impersonal law- 
giver and began to speak from her heart. 

''After the Heavenly Father," she writes, '' had enlightened 
my heart with His grace, and had led me in the model of our 
most holy Father Francis on the way of penance, shortly after 
his own conversion, then I and my Sisters promised him 
willing obedience." 

And as she turned her thoughts to these times, now so re- 
mote, when she first said good-bye to the world, one recollec- 
tion after another pressed upon her. She remembered so many 
words that came from the mouth of the dear teacher and 
guide addressed to the honor of his Lady, the noble Lady 
Poverty, and wrote them down. And with strong hand she 
impressed the sentence, in which the ideal claim appears on 
record in all its rigor beyond all appeal: 

''The Sbters shall own neither house nor convent nor 
anything, but as strangers and pilgrims shall wander through 
this world, serving the Lord in poverty and hmnility." 

Under these words, as Clara was dosing her eyes in death. 
Innocent set the inviolable seal of Rome.^ 

^ Reg, 5. Clarae, cap. VIII, compare cap. VI (Textus, p. 65 and pp. 63-63), 
in which Clara concedes "as much earth as Is necessary for the isolation of the 
convent " and for a garden. Not aU of the Ckres accepted the Rule of August 9, 
Z253. Many continued to live after the version of Hugolin of 1247, confirmed 
by Innocent IV and in some particulars modified. (See the Bull in question 
in Sbaialea, I, p. 476, Potth., n, nr. 12635.) 


WHILE Francis, together with Hugolin, was engaged 
with internal affairs of the Order, the mission- 
aries of the Chapter of 121 7 were gone each 
in his own direction. None of them had much 
success with it. Those who went to France were asked if 
they were Albigenses, and when they, not understanding 
the question, answered "Yes," they were treated accord- 
ingly; for Albigenses were heretics. The German mission 
went no better. It was a troop of sixty Brothers under the 
lead of John of Penna. They too were ignorant of the lan- 
guage of the country, but they had learned the word "Ja" 
(Yes). As they, by constantly using this as an answer to 
the questions addressed to them, obtained food and drink 
and lodging, they kept on using the magic word. But now 
it went wrong, for as they also answered " Ja" to the question 
if they were heretics, they were cast into prison, put in the 
stocks, and maltreated in other ways. In Hungary no 
better fortune awaited the Brothers; the peasants set their 
dogs on them and the pig-herds ran after them with their 
long sticks. "Why do they torment us so?" the Brothers 
asked each other in vain, and one of them thought that it 
might be that the Himgarians wanted their cloaks. Then 
they gave their tormentors their cloaks, but that did not 
help. Remembering the words of the gospel, they gave them 
next their robe. But even this did not satisfy the Hungarians. 
"Let us in God's name give them our breeches too," the 
patient Brothers said, and now they were permitted to go on 
naked. One of the Brothers had the fortune in this way — 
as we are told by John of Giano — to part with his breeches 
six times. At last they hit upcm the plan of smearing their 



breeches with cow-dung, so that the peasants would not 
want them.* 

All these Job's tonnents naturally filled Francis with care 
and disquiet. It was probably at this time that he is said to 
have had the foUowing dream. He saw a little black hen and 
around it a whole flock of little chickens were nmning and 
chirping — so many were the chickens that the poor hen could 
not get them all under her wings. ''The hen is I/' he said 
to himself, as he awakened. ''I am small and bkck, and it 
is evident that I cannot take care of my sons." * More than 
ever it was made dear to him that he must make over the 
care of his Order to the Chiurch. This made it easy for 
HugoUn to persuade him to go to Rome and have an aucUence 
with the Pope. This probably occurred in the winter of 
1 21 7-1 2 18; we know that in the interval between December 5, 
1217 and April 7 of the next year Hugolin was in Rome.* 

On this occasion the Cardinal seems to have had his doubts 
as to the impression which Francis would make upon the new 
Pope and his entire Curia. He had therefore persuaded him 
in preparation to study a speech, but when Francis started 
to say it he found that he had forgotten every word of it. 
This often happened to him; on such occasions he used to 
say to his audiences, at once, how it was, and he often would 
then speak mudi better than if he had given the discourse 
he had studied. If he found that he could say nothing, he 
would give the people his blessing and let them go.^ 

And so it happened as he stood before the Pope. Without 
being frightened, Francis knelt down at once and asked for 
his blessing. He then spoke and got into so ecstatic a mood 
that at last he began to move his feet in rhythmic movement, 
like David before the ark.^ So far from finding this laughable, 

* Anal, Pr„ I, p. 3 and p. 7. • Tres Socii, cap. XVI. 

'Potth. I, nrs. 5629-5747. That this was Frands' first audience with 
Honorius ni follows from the authorities — Hugolin was disturbed about 
Francis' ways and feared that he would cut a poor figure. (Cel., K. pr., I, 
XXVII, n. 73: "episcopus Hostiensis timore suspensus est ... ne beati viri 
oontemneretur simplidtas. ") For this he had no ground if Fianda already 
'u 42x6 had stood before Honorius with authority as God's messenger and, so 
to say, had forced from him the Portiuncula indulgence. 

* Cel., V. pr,, I, n. 73. Bonav., XII, 7. 

* CeL, F. pr., same place. Tres Socii, cap. XVL 



the Pope and Cardinals were deeply impressed by the remark- 
able man, and when Francis at last begged that Cardinal 
Hugolin might be made the special protector of the Order, 
the request was acceded to. 

During his stay in Rome Francis made the acquaintance 
of St. Dominic; Hugolin brought them together. The 
Spanish foimder of the great Order was seized with the greatest 
and most sincere admiration for the little barefooted Poor 
Man of God from Assisi. ''Let us melt our Orders into one/' 
he said to him, and as Francis would not accede, Dominic 
begged of him at least as a memorial the rope he wore around 
his waist. Soon after the two founders were to meet again 
at Portiuncula, and one year before Dominic's death they 
met once more in Rome. It was on this last occasion — 
in the winter of 1220-1221 — that Hugolin, with a reform of 
the clergy in mind, proposed to Frauds and Dominic to have 
the higher ranks of the clergy filled with men of the two new 
Orders. Both Dominic and Francis refused to enter into 
such an arrangement. ''My Brothers are tninores^ let them 
not become majareSy^ was the rejoinder.^ It was under the 
influence of Francis that Dominic, at the Pentecost Chapter, 
held in Bologna in 1220, introduced incapacity of ownership 
into his Order (only in 12 18 he had sought Papal approbation 
of the possessions belonging to the Order), and on his death- 
bed he pronoimced his curse on all who would impair his 
Brothers' evangelical poverty.* 

In the year 12 18 there was held the first Pentecost Chapter, 
at which Hugolin was present as the Order's protector. The 
Brothers met him in solemn procession and Hugolin dis- 
moimted from his steed, took off his fine clothes, and walked 
barefoot, and clad in the Franciscan habit, to Portiuncula. 
Here he sang mass in the little chapel, while Francis officiated 
as deacon and read the gospel. It may have been at the same 
Chapter that Hugolin afterwards helped the Brothers wash 
the feet of some paupers. Foot-washing here was more than 

^ Spec, perf., c. 43. Cel., V. su,^ m, c. 86-87. Bernard a Besea, And. 
Franc. Ill, p. 675. 

' Jean Guiraud: Saint Domimque (Paris, 1901), pp, 164-168, p. 189. Do- 
minicus died August 6, 1221. 


a ceremony, and when the Cardinal did not succeed in getting 
the dirt off this particular beggar's feet, the beggar said 
angrily, without suspecting in the humble Brother waiting 
upon him the great Prince of the Church, ^' Go on your way, 
and let some one come that understands this!'' 

As already said, Dominic had seized the chance to again 
meet Francis; he found him in the Cardinal's suite. What 
he saw at the Chapter must have deeply impressed him. 
'' For among so many men, none was heard to gossip or to 
speak unbecomingly, but wherever there was a group of 
Brothers assembled, they either prayed or said their Office or 
wept over their sins or over the sins of their benefactors. . • • 
And their beds were the naked earth, but some had also a 
little straw, and the pillow was either a stone or a piece of a 
tree. . . . And St. Francis said to his Brothers: ^In the name 
of holy obedience I bid you all who are here assembled, that 
none of you shall be concerned about what you shall eat, or 
what you shall drink, or what your bodies need, but think 
only of praying and praising God and leave to Him the whole 
care of your bodily welfare, for He will take care of you!' 
But St. Dominic, who was present all the time, wondered over 
the message Francis had given out and thought that he had 
borne himself very imreasonably, because, where so great a 
number of men were assembled, he asked that none should give 
attention to the things which are necessary for the body. . . • 
But the Lord Jesus Christ wanted to show that He loved His 
Poor with special love, and at once inspired the people in 
Perugia, in Foligno, in Spello, in Assisi and in the other towns 
in the vicinity to bring the holy assemblage both food and 
drink. And behold, at once men came from all these towns 
with asses, mules and horses loaded with bread, with fruit 
and with other good things to eat. . . . And besides they 
came with tablecloths, pots, dishes and cups and other sudi 
things, both large and small, which so large a crowd of men 
would require. And the more anyone was able to bring the 
Brothers, . . . the luckier he considered himself." ^ 

^Fior,, c. z8 (Aaus, c XX). Compare Tres Socii, cap. XV, p. 88, 
AmoDi's ed., Cel., V. pr., II, V, n. xoo, and Phflip of Perugia's letter of 1305 to 
the General of the Order, Gonaalvo, in Anal. FranCf in, p. 709. 


In fact the generosity of the inhabitants of the vicinity 
at the time of these meetings was very great: Jordanus of 
Giano tells of a Chapter, at which he was present, where 
they had to remain two days over the time at the place to 
get all eaten up which was brought thon.^ 

At the Pentecost Chapter of the next year (May 26, 1219) 
it was decided to again take up the mission work which two 
years before had failed so badly. Hugolin had employed 
the interval in preparing the way for the Brothers by sending 
out letters of introduction for them to the various regions 
whither they were going; he imdertook to answer for them 
to the Bishops and declared them to be good Catholic men, 
who rejoiced in the approval of the Apostolic throne and who 
could be safely permitted to preach everywhere.' Then at 
the right moment — June 11, 1219 — came the document 
from the highest church authority, which it was Hugolin's 
fortune to have obtained: Pope Honorius' Letter of Com- 
mendation for the Brothers, addressed to all '' Archbishops, 
Bishops, Abbots, Deacons, Archdeacons and other prelates" 
whom the Brothers might meet. The bearer of the Letter 
is declared in this Papal brief to be a good Catholic, who sows 
God's seed after the example of the Apostles and whose way 
of life is approved by the Holy See.' Armed with copies of 
this document and with Frauds' permission to receive new 
Brothers into the Order, the missionary leaders went off each 
at the head of his little band.^ 

This time no missionaries were sent to Germany, so great 
was the Brothers' fear of the prisons and stocks of the Teutons. 
On the other hand Brother Giles and Brother Electus went 
to Tunis, Brother Benedict of Arezzo to Greece, Padficus went 
back to France, and a small sdected band imdertook to carry 
out Frauds' old plan and go to the miramolin of Morocco. 

^ Anal, Franc. t I, p. 6, n. 16. 

* Tres Sociit cap. XVI, p. 94, Amoni's ed. 

* Bull Cum DUecH, Sbar., I, p. 2 (Potth., I, n. 608). A new bull, especially 
addressed to the French prelates, in whose dioceses the heretics were most 
prevalent, was published March 29, 1219. Sbar., I, p. 5. Potth., I, 6265. 

* When it is said in the Tres Socii, p. 94, Amoni's ed., that the missionaries 
bore with them "litteras Cardinalis" "reiula buUa afoskUca canjkmata," 
the Papal recommendation is meant. 


The mission to Tunis had a sad end. Giles and his com- 
panion were put on board a ship by force, to be taken away. 
This was done by the Christians of the place, who were afraid 
that the presence of the missionaries would result in diffi- 
culties with the Mussulmen. And Brother Electus, who had 
just separated from the others, soon suffered martyrdom, 
which he accepted kneeling, with the Rule in his clasped 
hands, declaring his accountability for all the sins he might 
have committed during his life in the Order.^ 

Francis embraced with great affection the Brothers who 
were going to the miramolin. Their names were Vitale, 
Berardo, Peter, Adjuto, Accursorio and Otto. Before send- 
ing them Francis addressed them, and according to an old 
account his words were these: 

*' ' My sons! God has ordered me to send you to the land of 
the Saracens to announce and make known diere His faith and 
to combat the law of Mohammed. . . . Prepare yourselves, 
therefore, to fulfil the will of the Lord!' But they bowed 
their heads and said, ' Father, we are ready to obey thee in 
aU things.' But Francis was rejoiced greatly over such com- 
plete obedience and said with love to them: 'Dearest sons, 
so that you can better fulfil God's command, see to it that 
there is peace and unity and indissoluble charity among you. 
Envy no one, for envy is the occasion of sin. Be patient in 
tribulations, be humble if all goes well with you. Copy 
Christ in poveity, obedience and chastity. For the Lord 
Jesus Christ was bom poor, lived in poverty, taught poverty 
and died in poverty. And to show that He loved diastity. 
He wished to be bom of a virgin, foUowed and counselled 
virginity and died surrounded by virgins. And He was 
obedient from His birth to His death, yes to His death on the 
Cross. Hope in God alone. He guides and helps us. Carry 
with you the Rule and the Breviary, and pray with complete- 
ness at the holy times. And all of you obey your great 
Brother Vitale. O my sons, well do I rejoice over your good 
will, but that I shall be separated from you, that grieves me 
in my heart. But the command of God must be obeyed 

iEgidk>(Gite8):il.55., Aprilin,p. 324. Anal. Franc., lH, p. yS. EWrtus: 
Spm:. perf., cap. 77. Cd., Vita sec., Ill, 135. Anal. Pranc., HI, p. 22^ 


rather than our will. And this I beg of you, that you may 
always have the sufferings of our Lord before your eyes, that 
will strengthen you and inspire you to suffer for Him ! ' 

''Then these holy Brothers answered: 'Father, send us 
where thou wilt, for we are ready to do thy will. But you, 
father, help us with thy prayers to fulfil thy commands. 
For we are yoimg and have never been out of Italy, and the 
people we go to we know not, but we know that they rage 
against the Christians, and we are ignorant and cannot speak 
Arabic. And when they see us in such poor raiment and with 
the rope, they will ridicule us as crazy men and will not listen 
to us; therefore we greatly need thy prayers. Ah, good 
father, shall we really be separated from theei How shall 
we be able to do God's will without thee? ' 

"But St. Francis was greatly overcome, and with great 
power he said: 'Depend on God, my sons! He, who sends 
you, will also give you power and will help you, as that is 
His good pleasure ! ' Then all six fell on their knees and kissed 
his hand with many tears and asked for his blessing. And 
St. Frauds wept also and lifted up his eyes to heaven and 
blessed them and said: 'The blessing of God the Father come 
upon you, as it came upon the Apostles; may He strengthen 
and lead you and comfort you in your troubles. And fear 
not, for the Lord is with you and will fight for you." ^ 

This narration may in some particulars be more or less his- 
toric; one realizes at any rate an impressive conception of 
the relations between Francis and his Brothers. And then the 
six yoimg missionaries went away — in accordance with the 
precept of the Bible, without staff or sack, without shoes 
on the feet, without silver and gold in their belts. Their 
way took them through Aragon — where Vitale fell sick and 
had to be left after them — through Castile and Portugal. 
Two years before this the Friars Minor had been in Portugal; 
King Alfonso's pious sister Sanaa had received them in a 
friendly way, had given them a little chapel in Alenquer and 
had a house built for them. Soon after the queen, Urraca, 

^ "Qualiter beatus Franciscus eos misit Marochiuin" (Anal, Prone,, III, pp. 
58Z-583. After a manuscript of the end of the fourteenth century. Compare 
pp. 15 et seq.). 



gave them a convent in the vicinity of Coimbra. The five 
missionaries took their departure hence for Seville, which 
was then imder Mohammedan control. 

On arriving at Seville they began to preach outside the 
principal mosque of the dty, and were at once seized and 
brought before the authorities. The miramolin, who resided 
in Morocco, was at this time Abu Jacob. After the defeat 
his father Mohanuned el Nasir had suffered in 1 212 at Tolosa, 
he was not inclined to displease the Christians, and by so 
much the less as he had at the head of his army a Christian 
leader, Dom Pedro, Infanta of Portugal, who because of dis- 
cord with his brother, the reigning king, had accepted Moham- 
medan employment. Abu Jacob seems on the whole to have 
been a peacefid soul; his greatest enjoyment was to play 
shepherd and to drive personally his flock to the pasture. 
When the five Franciscans from Seville were sent to him, so 
that he could determine their fate, he seems to have had most 
pleasure in letting them go. In any case they were not cast 
by him into prison, but he let them live with their co-religion- 
ist, Dom Pedro. 

The Brothers utilized this freedom now to preach in the 
markets and streets. They had learned a little Arabic, 
especially Berardo, who was leader of the band of missionaries. 
It happened that one day the miramolin, who was riding to 
his father's grave outside the dty, passed by a place where 
Berardo stood and preached from a wagon. He ordered 
thereupon that the five Brothers should not be punished, 
but sent home to the Christian land. 

The carrying out of this order was entrusted to Dom 
Pedro, who sent the five missionaries to Ceuta imder guard, 
whence they were to sail home. Instead the Brothers turned 
about and went back to Morocco and began to preach again. 
Now the miramolin put them into prison, but set them free 
again, whereupon they were again taken to Ceuta, when 
they again, just as before, returned to Morocco. Dom Pedro 
took them with him on a warlike expedition into the interior 
of the country; both he and the other Christians living in 
the capital feared that the missionary activities of the Brothers 
would result in a persecution of the Christians. Accordingly 


after his return from this raid Dom Pedro had the Brothers 
carefully watched, but when they, one Friday, saw the chance 
to escape — this being the Mohammedan weekly holiday — 
and started to preach, where they knew that the miramolin 
would pass by, they could no longer be saved. After fearful 
torture — among other tortures they were rolled naked 
back and forth a whole night on a bed of broken glass — and 
after a hearing, where their answers remind us of the first 
martyrs before the Roman judges, they managed to arouse 
Abu Jacob's fury, so that he rose up and himself beheaded 
the five martjrrs with his own hand. Dom Pedro saw to it 
that their lifeless bodies were taken to Coimbra, where Queen 
Urraca, at the head of the entire populace, went to meet the 
martyrs and laid them in the Church of Santa Cruz.^ 

The annoimcement of the deaths of these five martyrs was 
read at the Pentecost Chapter of 122 1 — it was on January 16 
of the preceding year that they suffered mart3rrdom — and 
Frauds thereupon cried out, "Now I can truly say that I 
have five real Brothers."' When we think of his deep 
reverence for the crown of martyrdom, such an utterance 
from his mouth is quite credible.' According to another 
source he is said to have forbidden the reading of the accotmt 
of the sufferings of the Brothers. "Let every one exult in 
his own martyrdom and not in that of others," he is said to 
have commanded, as he thought of the Brothers' pride in 
now having five martyrs in the Order .^ 

Be this as it may, it is beyond all doubt that Frauds at 
this time himself went forth to win martyrdom. As early 
as 1218 he had sent Brother Elias away as a missionary to 
the Holy Land, and Elias had here, among others, recdved 

^ Anal. Franc,, JH, pp. 583-593. A shorter version in Karl MttUer: "Die 
AnfUnge des MinorUenordens** pp. 307-210, and in Anal. Franc., Ill, pp. 

*Anai. Franc,, III, 21. 

' Compare his words in Celano, Vila sec, 11, 1 1 2 (d'Alen^on's ed.) : " Summam 
(obedientiam) . . . illam esse credebat, qua divina inspiratione inter infideles 
itur, sive ob prozimorum lucrum, sine ob martyrii desiderium, Hanc vero petere 
multum Deo iudicabat acceptum." 

* Jordanus, n. 8 (Anal. Franc.^ I, p. 3). Jordanus himself was one of those 
who thus would be proud of what others had undergone — see his candid avowal 
same place, n. 18 (p. 7). 


the first German into the Order — the learned, far-travelled 
derk, Caesarius of Speier.^ In the sununer of 12 19 a strong 
attach was to be made on Egypt by the Crusaders by order 
of Honorius lU. Francis decided in his own way to partici- 
pate in this Holy War. After having placed Brother Mat- 
thew of Nami as his vicar in Portiuncula, where he was to 
remain and put the habit of the Order on the new Brothers, 
and appointed Brother Gregory of Naples as his vicar for the 
rest of Italy, Frands started for the Holy Land in company 
with his old friend Peter of Cattani.^ 

' Anal. Franc. f I, p. 4 (Jordanus, n. 9). 

' " Mattbaeum vero instituit ad S. Mariam de Poitiuncula, ut ibi manens 
redpiendos ad ordiiiem reciperet, GregOTum autem, ut drcumeundo Italiam 
fratres axnsolaretur." (Jordanus, n. ix. Anal. Franc,, I, p. 4.) 




THE Brothers who from love of Christ go to the 
heathen may act in two ways with them. The 
first way is, not to quarrel or dispute with words, 
but for the sake of God to be subject to all crea- 
tures and thus to let it be known that they are Christians. 
The other way is, that they, when they see that it pleases 
the Lord, shall announce the word of God and summon all 
to believe in God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, and to 
let themselves be baptized and become Christians. And the 
Brothers must remember that they have given up themselves 
and their bodies to our Lord Jesus Christ, and that they, for 
love to Him, must not yield either to visible or invisible foes; 
for the Lord says, ' He that shall lose his life for my sake, shall 
save it!'"* 

It is certain that it was with such feelings as these that 
Francis and his companion, Pietro dei Cattani, on St. John's 
Day, 1 2 19, embarked on the Crusaders' fleet, sailed out of the 
harbor of Ancona and saw Italy disappearing behind them. 
The journey by sea to the Holy Land used then to last a 
month. At last in July, Francis went ashore at St. Jean 
d'Acre, where he was probably met by Brother Elias. Possi- 
bly Francis had brought some Brothers with him from Europe 
— the story about Brother Barbarus located in Cyprus 
points to this conclusion.^ It may be that a number of the 
Brothers joined him in St. Jean d'Acre and followed him to the 
Crusaders' army, which lay before Damietta in Egypt. 

^ From Legenda atUiqua (Sab., Opusc* de criti^uef 1, pp. X02-105). Compare 
Reg. sec., cap. XII. 

^Cd., Vit. sec.f n, XZ5 (ed. d'AleQCon). 





The siege of this strong place had already lasted a long 
time (since May, 1218), and the end was not in sight. Nearly 
every day there was a new fight; just before Frands' arrival, 
namely, July 29, 12 19, there had been a great battle, in which 
two thousand Saracens had bitten the dust. On July 31 
the Crusaders accordingly ventured upon an attack by stonn 
upon Damietta, but were beaten back with great loss by the 
Mussulmans under the two brave and able leaders, Melek d 
Kamd, sultan of Egypt, and his brother the sultan of Damas- 
cus, Melek d Moaddem, called Conrad by the Christians. 

At first Francis foimd a large enough fidd of work in the 
army of the Crusaders. The Christian camp was very low 
in point of morals, and after the Crusaders' new, great ddeat 
of August 29, where five thousand men were left upon the 
fidd, their minds were inclined to listen to Frands' preaching 
of conversion. Of the effect of this preaching Jacques de 
Vitry writes in his letter from Damietta to friends at home: 

^'Rainer, the Prior of St. Michad" (in St. Jean d'Acre) 
''has gone over into the Order of Friars Minor, which is spread- 
ing greatly over the whole world, because they so dosdy 
follow the life of the first Christians' congregations and on 
the whole of the Apostles. . . . Also my derk CoMnus the 
Englishman, and two other of my companions, namdy 
Master Michael and Lord Matthews, to whom I had handed 
over the care of souls at the church of the Holy Cross" 
(also in St. Jean d'Acre), ''and it is with the greatest difficulty 
that I can keep the cantor and Henryk and the others back." ^ 

First of all Frauds was attracted here to get an opportunity 
at last to put into practice his long-cherished dream — to 
come to stand face to face with the heathen and declare God's 
word to them. After the great defeat peace negotiations 
were commenced, and Frauds may have taken advantage of 
this opportunity to visit Mdek d Kamd with a single Brother 

^BOhiner: "Anakkten" pp. 101-103. Wadding, 12 19, n. 63. In my 
"Appendix/' p. — , I have said that this letter was written in August, 1219. 
Sabatier (Vie, p. 122) places its date in November, 12 19, immediately after 
the capture of Damietta (November 5); B^hmer ("Anal.,** p. xoi) places it 
in March, 1220. The value of the letter as proof is equally great in dther 
case. — ' Compare Cd., VUa sec,^ 11, 4. (Francis foretells the defeat of the 
Christians.) ^ 


— Bonaventure names nimninato. On reaching the Saracen's 
outposts the two Friars Minor were not received particularly 
well, but Francis, by continually calling out, SManI Soldant 
managed to induce them to bring them before the Ruler of 
the Faithful. He seems not to have taken their discourse 
unfavorably, but sent the daring evangelist away in peace 
with the words, ''Pray for me, that God may reveal to me 
which faith is the most pleasing to Him!" According to 
Jacques de Vitry, Francis preached several days more in the 
Mussulman camp, but without great results.^ 

We do not know how long Francis stayed with the 
Crusaders' army. Damietta fell on November 5, 1220, and a 
sack of the town began, so wild and savage that it must 
have filled the mild evangelist with grief and horror. Is it not 
conceivable that he shook the dust from his feet and went 
off to visit the holy places, which were now so near and which 
must have exercised an irresistible force of attraction over 
him? How could he, Francis, have passed Christmas, 1220 
better than in Bethlehem? Where the feast of the An- 
nunciation of the Blessed Virgin the next year better than 
in Nazareth, and where could he have passed Good Friday and 
Easter better than in Jerusalem, in the Garden of Geths^ane 
and on Golgotha? His biographers are entirely silent about 
this time in his life, but when after his return home we find 
him keeping Christmas at the crib in Grecdo, we can see in 
it a commemoration of a Christmas night in the real Bethle- 
hem ; and that which happened in La Vema, when the wounds 
of Christ were imprinted on his body, was that anything else 
than the completion of what he had already felt two years 

^ Jacques de Vitry in Historia Occidentalis, lib. II, c. 32 (Bdhmer, pp. 104- 
105), and in tlie letter of 12x9 (1220), (pp. 101-102). Jordanus, n. 10 (Anal. 
Franc. J I, 4). Compare Thomas of Celano, Vila prima, I, c. XX, Bona- 
venture, IX, 8, and Actus, cap. 27, in which we find it said: "£t dedit illis" 
(Soldanus) "quoddam signaculum quo viso a nemine laedebantur." The 
French orientalist Riant concludes from this and similar testimony that Francis 
must have received from the Sultan a letter of protection for himself and his 
Brothers, similar to the firmans which afterwards were issued for the Fran- 
ciscans (first by Zaher Bibars I, 1 260-1 277). This should ezf^ain why the 
Pope preferred to use Friars Minor as ambassadors to the Mussulman ruler. 
In 1244 a Franciscan ambassador was sent by the sultan of Egypt to Pope 
Innocent IV. See Golubovitch in Luce e Amore, II (Florence, 1905), pp. 498--50Z. 


earlier, kneeling on a Good Friday in the actual Place of 
Skulls (Golgotha)? ; 

In this pilgrimage Frands was interrupted by a messenger 
from Italy, who brought bad news. It was a lay-brotiier by 
the name of Stephen, who without any order from his superior 
had gone on his way to the Holy Land to tell Francis what 
was going on at home during his absence in the Holy Land. 
What he had to tell was certainly very disquieting and showed 
Francis again how hard it was to guide so large a body, 
in which, as Jacques de Vitry rightly remarks, ''not only 
the perfect, but also the young and imperfect, can find a 
reception without any preliminary trial or practice in the 
discipline of the convent."^ At first his two vicars, Gregory 
of Naples and Matthew of Nami, together with the older 
Brothers in the Order (Jralfes seniores), at a Chapter, held 
probably on St. Michael's Day, 12 19, had adopted a new 
explicit regulation of Fasts, of which there was no trace in 
the Rules of the Order.* Then Brother Philip, in his function 
as superior for the Clares, had been in Rome and sought to 
obtain that all who insulted these, his wards, should be ex- 
communicated. Finally, Brother John of Capella gathered 
a whole crowd of lepers about him, gave them a Rule and 
thus wished to establish a new Order; he had even gone to 
the Pope to get his Rule ratified.' 

Francis was sitting at the table, along with Peter of Cattani, 
when Brother Stephen came with his bad tidings — meat 
was already on the table, although it was one of the days on 
which by the new Rule meat should not be eaten. With a 
glance at the food, Francis asked: 

"Lord Peter" (for Frands always called him "Lord" as 
a tribute to his learning), "Lord Peter, what are we to do 

"£A," answered Brother Peter, with a real Italian inter- 

^ BfSlbma, **AnalekteH," p. loi. 

'This ordained fasting only on Wednesdays and Fridays, except lor the 
fasts of the Church. The Brothers could by Frauds' permission fast also on 
Mondays and Thursda3rs (JordanuSi n. ix). 

* Lempp believes, curiously enough, that John of CapeUa's Order consisted 
ezclusivdy of mairied people (gens mariis), and identifies it with the later 
Third Order 1 (Prire EdU de Cartone^ Paris, 1901, pp. 43-43.) 


jection, "jEA, Lord Frauds, whatever you say, — for you 
have the power!" 

''Then let us/' answered Francis, ''in accordance with the 
holy gospel, eat what is set before us!" ^ 

Not only the prescriptions for fasting were repugnant to 
Francis, as against the gospel, and as impossible to keep in 
observance by an order of wandering preachers, but it dis- 
turbed him profoimdly that no less than two of his disdples 
had dared to do what he was most opposed to — to plague 
the Roman throne about privileges.' He, who in his Rule had 
even obliged the Brothers to vacate their convent as soon as 
anyone wanted to take it from them,' must now yield to having 
the Clares protected by a Bull of Excommimication/ It was 
time for him to enter into affairs as quickly as possible, and 
Frauds hurried back to Italy in company with Peter of Cattani, 
Elias of Cortona, Caesarius of Speier and other Brothers. 

They seem to have arrived the last of the summer, and at 
once went to Hugolin. By his influence the proposals of both 
Brother Philip as well as of Brother John of Capella were dis- 
approved by the Holy See, and Frauds called together there- 
upon a Chapter of the Order at Portiuncula for Pentecost, 12 21. 

1 Luke z. 8. This entire description is found in all its details in Jordanus of 
Giano (Anal, Franc,, I, pp. 4-5). 

'Even in his Testament he forbids this in the strongest terms (Opusc,, 
p. 80). 

^Reg, pr,y cap. VII: '* nullum locum , . . alicui defendant," 

^Also that a Franciscan was an inspector (visitaior) for the Clares must 
have displeased Francis. He himself had in his time undertaken a supervision 
of the Sisters in San Damiano, but that was an exertional case. For the new 
convents of the Clares he obtained from Hugolin that a Cistercian named 
Ambrosius should be made inspector. Ambrosius died during Francis' absence, 
and Philip had at the request of Hugolin taken up the office. He was strongly 
rq>rehended for it by Francis, and a certain Brother Stephen, who with per- 
mission of Philip had entered a Clares' convent, had to do severe penance. (Cel. , 
VUa secunda, 11, c. 156, ed. d'Alen^on. Wadding, 1219, n. 48 and n. 45.) 

After the death of Francis, Gregory DC at once made over the supervision of 
the Clares to the General of the Franciscans (Sbar., I, p. 36). Innocent IV 
accepted this ordinance in Hugolin's Rule when he ratitel it in 1247. Even 
St. Clara's Rule of 1253 forms no exception (''visitator noster sit semper de 
online fratrum minorum"), while she appeals to the relation so necessary to 
the welfare of S. Damiano ("fratres . . . misericorditer a praedicto ordine 
fratrum semper habuimus," TexUts, p. 74. Compare Vila S, Clarae, V, n. 37). 

Even in 1237 the connection between the Cistercians and dares was dis* 
oemible (Potth., I, nr. 8027 and nr. 8048). 


Francis now was certain of one thing — his Order must be 
reorganized from the ground up. It follows of itself that 
Hugolin stood by him in this; this is testified to ezcplidtly by 
Bernard of Bessa.^ Like a first stone for the new building, 
which was now to be erected — and indeed as a foundation 
stone — the Bull must be regarded by which Honorius III, 
on September 22, 1220, ordained that every one who wished 
to enter into the Order of Friars Minor must first go through 
a year's novitiate.' This closed the doors for all the more 
or less loose birds, whom Francis was wont to call by the name 
of "Brother Fly" — those vagabonds, so numerous in the 
Middle Ages, who ate well, slept well, but wanted neither to 
work nor to pray, and who, after spending some time with the 
Brothers, would depart again.' If once received into the 
Order, it was impossible for them to leave it, and strong 
measures were to be taken against all who put on Frau- 
ds' habit and lived by their own hand, without joining the 
Order {extra obedienliam).^ For the liberty allowed to a 

* "In regulis seu vivendi fonnis ordinis istorum dictandis sanctae memoriae 
dominus papa Gregorius» in minori adhuc officio constitutus, beato Frandaoo 
intima familiaritate conjimctus, devote supplebat quod vice sancto judicandl 
adentia deerat." (Anal, Franc., Ill, p. 686.) Compare Hugolin's own words 
when pope: "in condendo pnedictam regulam . . . sibi" [i.e. Francisco] 
"astiterimus" (Bull Quo dongaU of September 28, 1230, Sbar., I, 'p. 68). 

* Sbaralea, I, p. 6. Potth., nr. 6361. The Bull is addressed prioribus seu 
custodibus frakum minorum. This is the first time the word "custodian" (in 
Franciscan language director of a convent) was used in an official document, 
and the Pope translated it accordingly by the universally understood term 

*fraier musca. Cel., Vit. sec,. III, 21. Spec», c. 24. Bonav., VII, 3. 

* It is curious to see Lempp (Elie de Cortane, p. 43, n. 5) assert that Honorius 
would hereby proscribe les adhisions librest cdUs fridsiment qui avaieni Hi 
jusque4d fossMes aux gens marUs, Lempp b thinking of members of the 
so-called "Third Order," but these were anything but vagrants, married and 
home-living citicens as they were I No, the Pope referred to those vagabonds 
of whom it was sp<^en above and against whom Francis over and over again 
expresses himself, and in expressions which perfectly accord with the Papal 
bulls. Thus in the letter to the Chapter General: "Quicumque autem fratrum 
hoc observare noluerint, non teneo eos catholioos nee fratres meos . . . Hoe 
oUam dico de omnUms aliis^qui wagaudo vadutU, foapotUa reguiae discipUna** 
(Bdhmer, *'Analekkn" p. 61). And in the first Rule: "£t omnes fratres, 
quotiescunfque declinaverint a mandatis Domini et extra obedienUam evagaverinl 
sicut dicit propheta" (Ps. cxviii, 21) "sdant, se esse maledictos" (Anal,, 
p. 6). Honorius and Francis are here in accord, n'en dipUdse d M.ledr, 


Brother Rufino or to a Brother GOes it would be impossible 
to grant to the crowds, who at a later period began to stream 
in to be received. Some words of Francis are still preserved 
for US which show how he at times looked upon this large and 
varied herd almost with dread, of which herd he was to be 
the shepherd.^ During his stay in the Orient he had, more- 
over, acquired a serious affliction of the eyes, and one thing 
with another caused him at the Chapter on St. Michael's Day, 
I220 to resign his office as head of the Order. As his vicar he 
named Peter of Cattani and, as this one soon after died 
(March lo, 1221), Elias Bombarone.' In this way he in- 
tended too to have freer hands for the work of organization^ 
which was before him. From now on Francis was no longer 
the head of the Order and its guide, but still was its law- 
giver and, in the sight of Rome, always its real Superior.' 
Along with the accomplished scribe, Brother Caesarius of 
Speier, in whom he, when in the Orient, seems to have 
acquired confidence, he went on with the task which first and 
foremost was to be attended to — to prepare a substitute for 
the few and brief rules written down in Rivo Torto, which 
Innocent III in his time had approved, to replace these by a 
new and complete Rule of the Order, to which Rome could 
give solemn and final approval.^ 

But before he started on this difficult task he was to have 
the joy of being together with more of the Brothers than ever 
before. During his absence the wildest rumors had gone 
through Italy — some said that he was a prisoner in the hands 
of the Mussulmans; others that he was drowned; others, 

^Spec. perf. (Sab. ed.)t p. 180: "Tarn magni et multimodi ezercttus duoem, 
tarn ampli et dilatati gregts pastorem." 

' Pietro dei Cattani's epitaph was found on the outside of the Portiuncula 
chapel and reads: ANNO. DNI. M.CC.XXI. VI. ID. MARTII CORPUS 
reproduction in SchnOrer: "Frans. von Assisi*' (Mdnchen, 1905), p. 99. 

' See even in the prologue to the Rule confirmed by Rome in 1223: " Prater 
Franctscus'' (not frater Helias) "promittit obedientiam et reverentiam domino 
papae Honorio. ... Et alii fratres teneantur fntri Francisco . . . cliedire" 
{Opusct Quar. ed., p. 63). 

^ Co-operation between Francis and Ccsarius is referred to by JordanuSy 
n. 15 (Anal. Fr„ I, p. 5). 


again, that he had suffered martyrdom. When he now proved 
to be alive, the Brothers came in droves — priests and lay- 
brothers, the oldest in the Order and the newly received 
novices — all wished to see the newly returned master, to 
hear him, and to receive his blessing. This was the Chap- 
ter of the Mats, celebrated in Franciscan history, so-called 
because the Brethren who were there, to the number of three 
(five?) thousand, could not be accommodated in the houses, 
which the town of Assisi had prepared for them down at 
Portiuncula, but had to sleep in the open air or in huts of 
woven boughs or mats {siuoie),^ 

^ Hugolin was much occupied at this time with a new em- 
bassy to northern Italy, where he was to again preach a 
crusade; in the days of the Chapter he kept himself in 
Brescia and Verona. As his representative he had sent 
another cardinal, Rainer Cappocdo from Viterbo; with him 
were several other men of high spiritual dignity. A bishop 
among them sang the solenm Mass of Pentecost with its 
wonderful Sequence, Veniy Sancte SpirUus. Francis read the 
gospel, another Brother the epistle. Then Francis preached 
first before the Brethren on tiie text, ^'Blessed be the Lord, 
who strengthens my hands for the fight," and then to the 
people. "But St, Francis" — thus the Fioreiti tell it — 
"preached with a high voice what the Holy Ghost inspired 
hhn with. And as text for his preaching he gave out these 
words: 'Little children, you have promised great things to 
God; still greater things are promised us by God if we keep 
to what we have promised Him and firmly expect He has 
promised us. The lust of the world is short, but the punish- 
ment which follows it is endless. The sufferings in this life 
are short, but the glories in the other life are endless!' And 
upon these words he preached with great devotion and en- 
couraged all to obedience to Holy Mother Church, to mutual 
charity, to patience in adversity, to purity and angelic chas- 
tity, to peace and unity with God and man, to humility and 
mildn^ to all, to despising the world, to burning zeal for holy 
poverty, to attention and devotion in prayer and songs of 

^ The house at Portiuncula. Spec, peff., cap. 7. Pentecost came this year 
on May 30; there was no difficulty in camping in the open air. 


praise, and casting all care, both as concerns the body and 
the soul, upon the Good Shepherd, our Lord Jesus Christ the 
Blessed." » 

It was a festival of meeting and of happiness, which Francis 
celebrated on this occasion with his Brothers and the people. 
It was at the expiration of this Chapter — and it lasted eight 
days — that the Brothers had to remain two days over the 
time at Portiuncula, to eat all the gifts of God with which 
they were loaded by the people.'" It was coming to its end 
at last, when Francis pulled ihe skirt of the habit of Brother 
Elias, who had led the meeting and at whose feet he had sat, 
and told him he had something on his mind. EUas bent down 
to him and then said: '' Brothers, the Brother" — this was 
the name given to Francis after his resignation — "the 
Brother asks me to speak for him; he is tired and cannot say 
an3^ing more. There is a country called Germany, he says; 
there dwell many pious Christians, whom we often see coming 
here through the valley with long staves and large travelling 
bottles; singing the praise of God and His saints, in spite of 
the sun and their sweat, they go on to the graves of the 
Apostles. But as some of our Brothers were formerly badly 
treated in this land of Germany, none of the Brothers can be 
persuaded to go there : but if any will go there for love of God 
and zeal for the salvation of souls, then he will give him the 
same freedom of conduct as is given to those who go to the 
Holy Land — yes, even more. If, therefore, there is anyone 
present who wants to go there, let him stand up and go to 
one side." Then ninety Brothers stood up and declared 
themselves ready to go — as they thought — to certain death. 

As leader of the German mission. Brother Csesarius of 
Spder was very naturally selected. With him followed 
Brother John of Piano Carpino, who could preach in both 
Latin and Lombard; Brother Barnabas, who could preach 
in Lombard and German; Francis' future biographer, Thomas 
of Celano, and many other Brothers. Among the mission* 
aries was also John of Giano, who himself, in his chronicle, 
has told with much humor how he, as a punishment for 
undue haste in making fine acquaintances — namely, with the 

^ PipreUi, cap. zS. * Jordanus, n. i6. 


outgoing mart3n:s in spe — was impelled to go with them.^ In 
all there were twelve priests and thirteen lay-brothers that 
wenty and we may believe that Francis blessed them ''all that 
he could" with more fervor than usual, and not only them, 
but all who by their prayers would be won for the Order.* 

The summer passed and the Brothers, who were to go to 
Germany, went their way. But it was not martyrdom they 
encountered. It is one of the most beautiful leaves of Fran- 
ciscan history, the tale, as Jordanus has written it, of how he 
and the other Brothers went from Trent to Bozen, from Bozen 
to Brizen, from Brixen to Sterzing, and from Sterzing to 
Mittenwalde. It was evening as they reached this last-named 
town, and since morning they had eaten nothing, and they 
had travelled seven miles. To be able to sleep on such empty 
stomachs, they decided to fill them with water from a stream 
which was there. Next morning they resumed their travels, 
but by midday some of them began to fall sick; they found 
some wild apples, which they ate, and, as it was the time of 
the beet harvest, they begged some beets and ate them. 

On the whole the Brothers were well received on their 
journey; they eventually settled for the time being in Strass- 
burg, Spejrer, Worms, Mayence, and Cologne, in Wurtz- 
burg, Ratisbon and Salzburg. Following the old Frandsan 
way, they took shelter where they found it — with the lepers, 
in a cellar or in an abandoned church. In Eriurt, Brother 
Jordanus was asked by the citizens, as he came there with 
some Brothers, if they should not build them a convent. '' But 
as he had never seen a convent in the Order, he answered 
them : ' I do not know what a convent is, but if you want to 
do something, then build us a house near the water, so that 
we can wash our feetl' And so it was done."' And a char- 
acteristic story also is told of the Brothers in Salzburg, to 

* Jordantis, n. iS. 

* " Pater noster in capitulis fratnim solitus erat in fine semper capituU benedi- 
oere et absolvere omnes fratres presentes et venturos ad religionem ... in 
fervore caritatis." Spec, perf., cap. 87. Compare in Francis' Testament and 
letters the eloquent expressions in which his heart overflows: "My blessed 
Sons," "My beloved Sons/' "I, Brother Francis, your servant, bless you all 
that I can" (AnaUkien, pp. iS, 40, 64; Opusculay pp. 49, 107, 115). 

' Jordanus, nr. 21-33, n* 43* 


whom Cassarius wrote that they cotdd come to the Chapter in 
Speyer if they wanted to, or could let it go if they wanted to. 
As the Brothers did not want to have any desire of their own, 
they were troubled at this behest, and went to Speyer to find 
out what Caesarius had meant in sending such a vague order.^ 
When all the Brothers at the Chapter of Mats had been 
distributed — some to the Italian provinces or to missions — 
one Brother stayed back, whom no one knew and whom no 
one seemed to trouble himself about. He had come to the 
Chapter with the Brothers from Messina, who too knew 
nothing of him, except that he was apparently a new member 
of the Order, that his name was Anthony, that he had a home 
in Portugal, and on the way home from Morocco had been 
blown out of his course way over to Sicily. At last the 
unknown Brother approached the Superior of the province 
of Romagna, Brother Gratian, and asked if he could follow 
him. "Are you a priest? " " YesI " On hearing this answer, 
Gratian asked Elias for the unknown Brother, for at this early 
time priests were few among the Brothers. Anthony fol- 
lowed his new superior to Romagna, where he withdrew to the 
hermitage of Monte Paolo, in the vicinity of Forli, The lonely 
life of penance and prayer he led there he was later to leave 
and to become the great preacher to the people whom the 
Church has canonized under the name of St. Anthony of Padua.* 

^ Jordanus, n. 27. 

' This disciple of Francis, in modern times perhaps the most famous, was 
bom in Lisbon in the year Z195. At the age of fifteen he entered the Augua- 
tinian convent Santo Vicente de Fora in his native city and thence was soon 
transferred to the celebrated convent of Santa Cruz in the university city 
Coimbra. Here he studied, was ordained to the priesthood, and then in 
12 30 was attracted to the Franciscans, probably in consequence of what he had 
heard of the five martyrs of Morocco already spoken of. With the permission 
of his superiors in the Order he went over to the other Order and was received 
in S. Antonio d'Olivares in Coimbra. Hence he went to Morocco to become a 
martyr. As he failed in this — Abu Jacob seems to have become again indif- 
ferent — he wanted to return again to his own country, but instead came to 
Sicily and thence to the Pentecost Chapter of 1 2 2 1 . Of his rehition to the Order 
we will speak later. All the sources for Anthony's biography are found up to 
1904 collected in L6on de KervaFs excellent book: "Sancti Antonii de Padua 
Vitae duae quarum altera hucusque inedita,** which contains much more than 
the title promises. The work constitutes Volume V of Sabatier's CoUeclion 
i'etudes. See also Albert Lepitre: SL Antaine de Padoue (4th ed., Paris, 1905), 
and Lempp in "Zeitschr. f. Kgsch.," Vols. XI-XIII (Z889-X893). 


CiESARIUS of Speier did not at once go to Germany 
with his Brothers. Francis had asked him to assist 
him in writing the Rules of the Order, and Caesa- 
rius also wished before his departure to spend some 
time with Francis — it was so uncertain if they ever again 
would see each other. For one and the other of these reasons 
Cxsarius remained three months with Francis in the valley 
of Spoleto, as well as at Portiimcula and up in Carceri.^ 

The first Rule, which Francis wrote at Rivo Torto, was 
quite short and simple. '' I had it written with few and simple 
words, and our Lord the Pope confirmed it for me," says 
Francis in his Testament. With this all the burden of testi- 
mony of the first biographers agrees.^ A great part of this 
first Rule was made up of extracts from the Bible put to- 
gether — first and foremost from Matthew x. 9-10, xix. 
21, zvi. 24, and Luke iz. 3. Thence comes the name 

^ It is Jordanus of Gtano wfao in deariy put words sa3r8 this. The two 
foUowiog eiteacts can be compared: *'£t videns beatus Franciscus fratrem 
Caesarium sacris litteris eruditum, ipsi commisit, ut regulam, quam ipse 
simplidbus verbis oonceperat, verbis Evangelii adornaret. Quod et fecit" 
(n. 15); and "Hb ergo" [fratribus] "frater Caesarius assumptis, quia ipsemet, 
utpote homo devotus, beatmn Frandscum et alios sanctos fratres invitus 
deseniit, de licentia beati Frandsd sodos sibi datos per domos in Lombardia 
divisit, ut in illis verbum suum expectarent. Ipse vero in Valle Spoletana 
moram fedt fere per tres menses" (n. 19). This alone is enough to prove the 
impossibility of what Karl MttUer {**Anfdnge" p. 13) and following him Saba- 
tier, Lempp, and SchnQrer have maintained, that Francb at the Pentecost 
Chapter of 1221 ''laid before them the edition of the Rule, which he with the 
help of Csesarius of Speier had worked out." (Schndrer: "Franz von Assist,** 
p. 99.) If this were so, Jordanus would certainly have told of it. But this 
mutual work begaa afl^ the Chapter in question. 

' For the Testament, see O^usc., p. 79; Bdhmer, p. 37. For testimony of 
biographers, Cd., V. pr., 1, c. XIII; Julian, in A. 55., Oct. II, p. 588, n. 226; 
Bonav., Ill, S. 



Frands liked to use instead of the word " Rule " — forma sancti 
Evangelii, ''the form of the Holy Gospel." In a few words, 
to observe the gospel was what he desired. 

We have no longer this first Franciscan Rule, and of the 
ingenious attempts which have been made in the most recent 
times to recover it, none have succeeded. But these attempts 
were imdertaken from a correct standpoint; namely, that 
we imdoubtedly have in the so-called Regula prima (generally 
called after Karl MiiUer ''the Rule of 1221") the original 
Rule of the Order, with additions and buried under a quantity 
of later additions, alterations and expansions.^ 

A suggestion of how the development went can be obtained 
from Jacques de Vitry's description of the Franciscan Chapter 
gatherings. Here he tells how the Brothers came together 
at these meetings, and " with the support of good men, wrote 
and promulgated good regulations."* But the good men 
who stood by the Brothers were undoubtedly cardinals; the 
closer relations between them and Francis were formed in the 
summer of 12 16, when Jacques was still in the Papal Court. 
And moreover the accounts com{>are well with what we know 
from other sources, that "the Brothers came together at 
Pentecost at Portiuncula and consulted as to how they best 
should maintain the Rule." * 

Francis naturally had a deciding voice in these discussions. 
^'St. Francis," the authority just dted says, "admonished, 
censured and commanded as it seemed good to him in the 
Lord." If we have the Latin text at this place before us, the 
meaning is still clearer. It there is written faciebai adnuh 
nUiones, reprehensiones et praecepta — "he made admcmitions, 
reprehensions and precepts." But among the writings of 
Frands of Assisi we have one entire collection remaining, 
which bears the title of AdmaniUones.* If we wish to find 

^ Karl Mailer's first attempt at reconstruction in "DieAnfOng^t " PP* 185-188, 
and another in "Theolog. Litt. Zeitg./' 1805, pp. 182 et seq., are too elaborate. 
B^hmer, in "AnaUkten," pp. 88-89, ^^^ attempted to produce a briefer recoD« 
stitution of the primitive Rule. 

* "consilio bonorum virorum suaa (adunt et piomulgant Institutiooes sano- 
tas." Bdhmer's "Anakktm;* p. 98. 

' Tres SocUf cap. XIV, p. 80, Amooi's ed. 

^ In Bdhmer, pp. 40-49. 


the first additions to the original Rule, it is here we should 
look. The superscription tells as much: ^'In the name of 
the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. These 
are the holy words of advice of our honored father St. Francis 
to all the Brothers." 

In these AdmonUianes we find what Thomas of Celano^ 
where he speaks of the Rule, calls '' some few additional com- 
mands, which are entirely necessary for the purpose of a holy 
conversion." ^ They contain the following: 

I. "On the Lord's body." The first thing Francis thought 
of enforcing upon his disciples and of placing deep within their 
hearts was to have great reverence and great love for the 
God revealed to the eye of faith in the Holy Eucharist. 

n. "On the sinfukiess of self-wiU." It is self-will that 
leads to falling into sin. 

HI. "On perfect obedience." He who does not renounce 
all things, even his own will, cannot be a disciple of Jesus. 

IV. "That no one should strive after command." It is 
better to wash the feet of the Brothers, than to rule over 

V. "That no one should be exalted, but should glory in 
the Cross of the Lord." The same order of thought that is 
developed later at length in the celebrated eighth chapter of 
the FioretH (see pp. 117-121). 

VI. "On followmg after the Lord." "We wish to be 
called the servants of the Lord, but we should be ashamed, 
because the saints have done great things, and we wish to be 
honored and esteemed, only because we tell of them and 
preach about them." 

VII. "That wisdom must be followed by work." That 
wisdom only has value which leads to good works — a thought 
to which Francis constantly returns. 

Vni. "To envy no one," especially to envy no one the 
good which God works in his soul. 
DC. "On charity." He has really charity towards his 

^ Celano, V. pr., I, c. XIII: "beatus Franciacus . . . scripsit . . . simpUdter 
et paucis verbis vitae formam et regulam, sancti evangdii praecipue sermonibua 
QteDs, ad cojus perfectionem solummodo inhiabat Pauca tamea alia iofleruit, 
quae onmino ad oonvenatioois aanctae usum nec ea aa ri a fnveniebat." 



enemies who, when he suffers injustice, thinks first of all of 
the harm the unjust one has done his own soul. 

X. ''To hold the body in subjection." There is an enemy 
we ought not to love, and that is the body. And if we vigor- 
ously and ceaselessly fight this enemy, then no other enemy, 
spiritual or material, can hurt us. 

XI. ''Do not participate in the effects of another's sin. 
By paying evil with evil, one takes the effects of a sin upon 
his own soul. 

XII. "On signs of the Lord's spirit." The better a man 
really is, the worse he feels himself to be. 

Xin. "On patience." One first sees how great his pa- 
tience really is when he has cause to be impatient. 

XIV. "On poverty of spirit." Poverty of spirit is not in 
much fasting and penance, but in turning the left cheek to 
him who has struck the right one. 

XV. "On peace." Blessed are the peaceful! 

XVI. "On purity of heart." He is piue of heart who 
despises the world, seeks heaven, and always has the Lord 
his God before his eyes. 

XVn. "On being an humble servant of God" and not to 
demand more of one's neighbor than one is willing to grant 
to God. 

XVin. "On sympathy with our neighbor." Blessed he 
who bears with his frailties, as his neighbor has also to 
endure his. 

XIX. "Of a good servant of God." Blessed he who does 
not look upon himself as better or greater when he is exalted 
and honored by men than when he is scorned and despised 
by them and is degraded by them, for a man is what he is 
in God's eyes, and no more. 

XX. "On the good and bad Brother of the Order. Blessed 
the Brother whose whole joy is in doing the work of God and 
in speaking of God, and who thereby leads men to love God 
in peace and joy. 

XXI. "Ontheempty and gossiping Brother of the Order." 
Woe to the Brother whose joy it is to make people laugh with 
empty and vain talk, and who in his actions does not corre- 
spond with the graoe he has received from God. 


XXn. ''On correction." Blessed the Brother who is not 
eager to excuse himself, but who in humility is willing to be 
shamed and blamed, even if he has done nothing. 

XXm. ''On humility." Blessed the Brother who is as 
humble to those who are under him as to his superior. 

XXIV. "On real charity." Blessed the servant of God 
who loves his Brother as much when the Brother is sick and 
depends on him as when the Brother is well and can be of use 
and pleasure to him. 

XXV. And blessed the servant of God who loves and fears 
his Brother as much when he is away from him as when he is 
near him, and says nothing behind his back which he could 
not in charity let him hear. 

XXVI. "That God's servants ought to honor clerics." 
Blessed the servant of God who has faith in the clerics, who 
live after the law of the Holy Roman Church. And woe to 
those who despise theml Even if they are sinners, no one 
should condemn them, for they have power over the body and 
blood of Jesus Christ. 

XXVII. "On virtues, that put vices to flight." This is 
the laud in honor of all virtues already given (p. 177). 

XXVIII. "Not to boast of your virtue." God sees our 
secret thoughts, for him alone we shall do all things, and thus 
accumulate for ourselves treasures in heaven. 

Haec sufU documenUi pit patris one can say in the words 
of Thomas of Celano after having gone through these twenty- 
eight short chapters — " with these prescripts the pious father 
moulded his new sons." ^ Francis was certainly a remark- 
able " Master of Novices," as the technical expression of the 
convent has it, but these religious psychological aphorisms, 
often wonderfully fine, remind us but little of the Rule of an 

Of Francis' way of writing such a Rule we have, on the 
other hand, an idea through a little piece of regulation, which 
imdoubtedly comes entirely from his own hand. "In the 
early days of the Order, when there were few Brothers and 
when there was no regular convent," * the members of the 

* Cel., V. pr.y I, cap. XV, n. 41. Bonav., FV, 3. 

• FtoreUij cap. 4. 


Order spent most of their time on missionary journeys and 
took shelter where they could find it At intervals they 
wished to withdraw into solitude to pray in peace and 
strengthen the soul for new apostolic efficiency, as they, after 
the Master's example, '^ talked over with themselves what they 
preached to others." ^ In this way originated the first Fran- 
ciscan ''convents," but which were only ill-adapted to bear 
thiis honored name. At Portiuncula the ''convent" was a 
collection of huts surroimded by a hedge; in Carceri it was 
a few caves; at Fonte Colombo and Mount Alvema it was 
the same, and time after time in the PioreUi we are brought 
round to these "little convents where the Brothers had only 
huts of leaves to sleep in." ^ Neither was the word claustrum 
used in speaking of the Franciscan abiding-places; Brother 
Jordanus, as we have seen, was greatly perplexed when in 
Erfurt it was proposed to build him a convent. Such a 
Franciscan habitation was called simply a "place" (locus)^ 
a hermitage {iremo^ erimUarium), a retreat (riUro). And 
for the Brothers, who for a period of time wanted to stay in 
such a hermitage. Frauds now wrote the following Ride, or 
rather regulations, which is the more valuable because it 
undoubtedly comes in its entirety from his own hand, without 
the assistance of Cardinal Hugolin or of Brother Caesarius. 
It is here given in full:* 

De ReUgosa Habitatiooe in Eremo. 
"On Pious Living in a Hermitage" 

"Those who wish to live piously in a hermitage must be three 
or at most four Brothers. Two of them shall be mothers 
and shall have the other two for sons or the one. But the 
mothers shall lead the life of Martha and the others the life 
of Mary.* 

"The two who are mothers shall lead the life of Martha 
and the two sons shall lead the life of Mary and shall have 

1 Celano, Vita prima, I, XV, n. 36. 

■ Fi&r., c. 17. 

* BOhmer: *' Analekten," pp. 67-6S. The text in Quarudii editioii {Opusc^ 
pp. 83-S4) is less explicit. 

* Natundly a reference to the two sisters in Bethaaia. 


an endosuie with a cell) where they can pray and sleep. 
And as soon as the sun has set, they shall pray the Com- 
pline and try to maintain silence, but at Matins they shall 
get up and say their Hours and 'seek first for God's king- 
dom and His justice/ And at the proper time they shall 
pray the Primes, and after the Trines they can break the 
sQence and go to their mothers, and, if they wish, can beg an 
alms of them like other poor people for God's sake. And 
later they shall pray the Sext and Nones, and say Vespers at 
a suitable time. 

"And they must pennit no one to enter the enclosure where 
they are, and no one must eat there either. The Brothers 
who are mothers shall keep themselves away from all men, 
and, as their Superior has told them, guard their sons from all 
men, so that no one can speak to them. And the sons must 
not talk with anyone except their mothers and with their 
Siq;)erior, if he with God's blessing visits them. But the sons 
shall take over the mothers' task, when they find it mutually 
good, and busy themselves to carry out exactly all that lu^ 
been said before." 

This was a Rule such as Francis was able to write. How 
graceful is the picture of the Brothers, who live together up 
in the mountain wilderness of Fonte Colombo or on Monte 
Subasio, and of which the two, like Martha in the gospel, 
must look out for the temporal things, while the other two, 
like Mary, have permission to sit at the Lord's feet! And 
when it gets to be midday, then the two who had chosen the 
better part come and beg well and modestly for food — like 
polite children asking it of their good mother.* 

Besides the short, original Rule of 12 10 and the Rule for 
hermitages, we hear fiuther talk of a special Rule, valid for 
ParUuncula. This is preserved in Chapter 55 of the Speculum 
perfecHanis and recalls the Rule for hermits; thus we find it 

* ''dioo tibi» fill mi, sicui mater" Franda writes to his favorite disciple Brother 
Leo, with whom he had staid so often in the hennitages (BOhmer, p. 68). 
And of Brother Elias we find in Thomas of Celano {ViSa ^., II, cap. IV, n. 98) : 
"f rater Helias . . . quern loco mains elegerat sibi (Francisco)." Compare 
Celano, Vita 5ec., Ill, 99: "dixit Padficus s. Francisco: Benedic nobis, mater 
carissuna;" HI, 113 (II, 136, d'Al.). The complaint is kter made that many 
"eremiticom ritnm" "convertmit in otium." 


forbidden for strangers to enter the place. No worldly talk 
and no superfluous word must be heard in Portiuncula; the 
Brothers Uiere shall be chosen from the best and most pious 
in the whole Order, and shall edify all by the exemplary 
recitation of their office. "And in this place nothing shall 
happen or be spoken that is useless, but the whole place shall 
be kept pure and holy in hymns and songs of praise." For 
the infringement of these regulations — as it is given later 
in the same book, Chapter 82 — the offender is obliged to say 
a Paler noster along with the prayer composed by Francis, 
Laudes Dei. 

Francis' work as lawgiver was only occasional. At a 
Chapter it was told him that many of the Brothers tormented 
themselves with penitential shirts, iron rings and the like on 
the naked body. He forbade at once the use of such ascetic 
things by the Brothers.^ Another time he had the following 
regulation put into writing: "Let the Brothers take care 
that they do not present the appearance of hypocrites, with 
dark and cast-down mien, but that they show themselves 
glad in the Lord, cheerfxU and worthy of love, and agreeable." * 
This place is found in the existing Regula prima^ Chi^ter 7, 
and in the Speculum there is cited another regulation, whidh 
we may safely read in the text of those we still possess.' The 
last chapter in the Regula prima has as title Admonitio 

If in the Rivo Torto Rule is to be f oimd the basis for the 
whole code of laws, so are these occasional regulations and the 
admonitions promulgated at Chapters to be regarded as the 
first framework. And others were built upon them, each as 
time or occasion required. Li 1217 the great Franciscan 
missions began; to this period are certainly to be ascribed 
chapters such as the 14th and i6th in the Regula prima^ 
**How the Brothers ought to go through the world" and 
"Of those who go to the Saracens and other heathen." This 

» Spec, perf, (ed. Sab.), p. S^- 

* ''pro generali commonitione in quodam capitulo scribi fecit haec verba.*' 
Cel, V. sec.y HI, 68. 

* Spec, perf.f cap. 96, p. 189 i- Adm. XX in B^ttuner, XXI in Quanuxhi 


sort of farewell admonition has been preserved for us in 
several examples by Francis' biographer — see for example 
in the Speculum perfectionis, Chapter 65, ''Admonition to de- 
parting Brothers " ; as well as several extracts from the Rules, 
beginning with the words In nomine Domini, '' In the name of 
the Lord/' the usual formula with which in those days every 
official paper began.^ 

That these admonitions, which later, when the Order de- 
veloped, came to have a larger and larger scope, were written 
out, we can rest assured. They had all of them a very prac- 
tical object, which was something Francis wished the Brothers 
to observe and be guided by. We see how explicit he is in 
his later letters that the Brothers should, by copying, have 
them in manifold, and each possess a copy in his Breviary 
along with him, ''the better to follow them."* 

If we want to understand what the co-operation of Francis 
and Caesaiius in the siumner of 122 1 in preparing the Rule 
of the Order was, we must recollect that they, excepting 
the original Rule of 12 10 — had before them the coUection of 
all the Admonitions and Regulations. Out of this material 
they were to put together a new Rule of the Order.' In 
reality they, for the time being, were content to link together 
old and new, often without sequence, and so did this collec- 
tion, or better this selection, of valid Regulations result, 
which the older investigators call Regula prima, the newer 
ones ^'Rule of 1221," but which in no sense has been accepted 
as the Rule of the Order. 

Without wishing to go into details, like Karl Miiller or 

^ Spec. perf. (Sabatier), p. 120. Reg, prima, capp. IV, XXIV. 

'"Hoc scriptum, id melius deheat ohservari, habeas tecum usque ad Pente- 
costen." Francis' letter of 1223 to Elias (Opusculaj p. no). Bdhmer 
(" Analekten," p. XXXVI) has collected a quantity of references which show 
Francis' care in this regard. 

' The dream Francis had at this time proves thb. It seemed to him that 
all the Brothers stood around him and were hungry, and that he had nothing 
but a quantity of crumbs that escaped from his fingers. "Francis," a voice 
then said, "knead all these crumbs together into a host and give that to the 
Brothers." This dream he explained the next morning to the effect that the 
crumbs indicated verba evangelicay the host indicated the Rule which was to 
be formed out of them. (Bonav., Leg. Major ^ IV« 11. Cel., VHa su., II , c. 159, 


Boehmer, it is qtiite impossible to form a general uiderstand* 
ing of what part of this great collection of material comes from 
the original Rule^ and of what are additions of a later period. 
Out of the Rivo Torto Rule, besides the introduction (Francis 
promises obedience to Pope Innocent) the following portions 
undoubtedly came: Chapter I (of the three vows of the Order: 
obedience, poverty, chastity). Chapter 11 (of the Brothers' 
reception and habit). Chapter III (of the Office and fasts), 
Chapter VII (of how the Brothers are to work and pray), 
Chapters VIII and IX (on not caring for money, on begging 
when it is necessary) Chapter XII (on avoiding women), Chap- 
ter XIV (on neither travelling nor sitting down with evil 
people). Chapter XIX (on reverence for priests). These 
chapters may have been differently arranged in the original 
Rule, but the meaning has been the same. The regulations 
for fasting seem to have been severer originally, than as 
preserved in the Regula primal 

As later additions to the fundamental rules we must look 
upon the fourth chapter with the statutory beginning In 
nomine Domini; this treats besides of the ministers and of 
the duty of obedience of the Brothers to them, and must date 
from the Giapter-meeting, in which the first ministers were 
installed and the first division of provinces was arranged for. 
Some other chapters agree also with the Admonitions which 
are in existence; thus Chapter V and the fourth and eleventh 
Admonitions may be located, and Chapter XXII and the 
ninth and tenth Admonitions. A ''Reminder" as referred 
to by Thomas of Celano is not to be found in the existing col- 
lection of Admonitions; on the contrary, it is in the Regula 
prima, where it is foimd in the eighteenth chapter.* 

A third element in the Regula prima consists finally of what 
we may call religious poetry. To this belong first of all the 
Lauds or Songs of Praise already spoken of (p. 69), which 

* Reg. prima prescribed only one weekly fast: Friday. (BOhmer, p. 4.) If 
Jordanus is to be believed {Anal, Ft., I, 4, n. 11), there were in the original 
Rule two fast days in the week, namely Friday and Wednesday also. With 
special permission of Frands, the Brothers who wished to do so could also fast 
on Monda3rs and Thivsdays. 

' Cel., VUa sec., Ill, 68. There is also an Admonition addressed to the sick 
in cap. X of Regula pHma, in Speculum perfeciumis, cap. 42. 


Frands offered to his Brothers for singing in the towns as the 
Good God's MusidanSy and where we find a rhythm that 
reminds us of the later Sun Song.^ What Francis desired 
first of all was to inspire men for God. And after finaUy a 
last AdmonUio fratrum — the old name is here kept in the title 
of the chapter — his and Cassarius of Spder's work breaks 
forth in a great, swelling Song of Praise, that rises and rises 
irresistibly like a stronger and stronger flowing organ sound, 
and never stops tmtil the highest summits are reached — 
there where all human speech must cease, aU hmnan thought 
must fail, and nothing remain except the angels' Sancius, 
Sanctus, Sancius and ceaseless Alleluia of the happy souls. It 
is thus the last Chapter sounds: 

^'Prayer, Song of Praise and Thanksgiving. 

'' Almighty, highest and Supreme God, holy and just Father, 
Lord and King of the Heavens and Earth, we thank thee for 
thy own sake, because thou by thy holy will and by thy only 
b^lQtten Son with the Holy Ghost hast created all spiritual and 
material things and us in thy form and likeness, and thou 
didst place us in paradise. But we fell through our own fault 
And we thank thee, because thou, as thou didst create us 
through thy Son, thus also through the true, holy charity, 
wherewith thou lovedst us, let him be bom, true God and 
true Man, of the ever virginal, holiest Virgin Mary and through 
his cross and blood and death thou didst wish to free us poor 
prisoners. And we thank thee, because the same One, thy 
Son, shall return in the glory of his majesty and send the 
damned, who have not converted themselves and knew thee 
not, into everlasting fire, and will say to all who have known 
thee and prayed to thee and served thee in conversion: 
' Come here, the blessed of my Father, and inherit the riches 
which have been prepared for you even from the beginning of 
the world I' 

"And because all we poor sinners are not worthy to name 

^ "Bead qui moriuntur in penitentia quia erunt in regno codonim. 

"Ve iUis, qui non moriuntur in penitentia, quia enmt fidii diaboli . . . et 
ibunt in ignem etemum." {Reg. pr., cap. XXI. Bdhmer, p. 19.) 

** Guai acqueUi ke morrano ne le peccata mortali. Beati quelli ke trovarane 
le tue sanctissime voluntatis ka la morte secunda not iarra male." (Ca$Ukum 
fratfis soUs; Btthmer, p. 66.) 


thee, so do we pray and implore that pur Lord Jesus Christ 
thy beloved Son, in whom thou art weU pleased, together 
with the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, will thank thee for all 
the great things Thou hast done to us through Him, Alleluia. 
And we humbly implore the most blessed Mother and Virgin 
Mary, the blessed Michael, Gabriel, Raphael and all the rest 
of the choir of holy spirits. Seraphim and Cherubim, Thrones, 
Dominations, Principalities, Powers and Mights, Angels and 
Archangels, the blessed John the Baptist, John the Evangel- 
ist, Peter, Paul and the Blessed Patriarchs and Prophets, the 
Holy Innocents, the Apostles, Evangelists, Disciples, Martyrs, 
Confessors, Virgins* the blessed Elias and Enoch and all the 
Saints, that have been or are to come, that they out of love to 
thee and as it pleases thee shall bear our thanks to thee, 
thou highest true, everlasting and living God, with thy Son, 
our dear Lord Jesus Christ, and the Comforter the Holy Ghost 
for ever and ever. Amen. Alleluia. 

"And we Friars Minor, we useless servants, beg and pray 
thee all humbly, who in the Holy Catholic and Apostolic 
Church wish to serve the Lord God, all who are in orders, all 
priests, deacons, subdeacons, acolytes, exorcisers, lectors, 
ostiairs, and all the clerics, all monks and all nuns, all children, 
all women and maidens, all poor and needy, kings and princes, 
laborers, peasants, servants and masters, all virgins, all con- 
tinent and allmarried, all lay-people, men and women, all infants, 
children, yoxmg and old, well and sick, all large and small and 
all kinds of people, races and languages, all nations and all men 
everywhere, who are now or are to be, we pray them all humbly 
that they will persevere in the true faith and conversion, for 
otherwise they cannot be saved. Let us all with all our heart, 
with all our soul, with all our mind, with all our strength and 
power, with all our reason and all our dispositions, all our 
striving, all our love, all our inner self, all our desire and will 
love the Lord our God, who has given us aU of our body, all 
of our soul and all of our life, he who has created us aiKl re- 
deemed us, and out of pure mercy wishes to save us, he who 
has given and daily gives all good to us poor, corrupted, putrid, 
thankless and evil things. 

"Let us therefore seek nothing else, wish for nothing else. 


rejoice and be pleased with nothing else than our Creator and 
Redeemer and Saviour, the one, true God, who is the perfect 
good, all good, the whole good, the true and highest good, he 
who alone is good, pious and mild, happy and loving, he who 
alone is holy, just, true and righteous, who alone is good, inno- 
cent and pure, from whom and with whom and in whom are 
all pardon, all grace, all glory for all penitents, all just men, 
all the blest in Heaven. May nothing restrain us therefore, 
nothing separate us, nothing drive us from him. Let us all 
in all ways, at every time and place, daily and constantly, 
truthfully and himibly believe in God and keep him in our 
hearts, and let us love, honor, beseech, serve, obey and bless, 
praise and glorify, sing praises to and thank the highest and 
supreme eternal God, the Threefold and One, the Father, Son 
and the Holy Ghost, Creator of all, the Saviour of those who 
hope in him and love him, God without beginning and end, 
imchangeable, inconceivable, invisible, incomprehensible, in- 
scrutable, blessed, glorified, extolled, highly exalted, mild, 
lovable, dreadful, and worthy to be Ipved and desired always 
and above all things forever and ever. Glory be to the Father, 
Son and the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now 
and ew shall be. Amen."^ 

^ Bdhmer, pp. 23-16. Opusctda, pp. STH^x. 



TWO years passed before the final Rule of the Order 
was finished. In September, 1221, Caesarius left and 
with his missionaries went to Germany, and first on 
November 29, 1223, Honorius m with his bull Solei 
annuere gave his ratification to the Rule. Between these two 
dates lies a whole series of events of which unfortimately 
there is left to us no satisfactory account, but during which 
there seems to have developed a great opposition between 
Francis on the one side and Brother Elias Qombarone and his 
adherents on the other side. Hugolin in this dispute had the 
dilScult task of being intermediator and as far as possible of 
pacifying both parties. ^ 

For in order to imderstand the core of the dispute one must 
realize what a development the new Order had experienced in 
the last year. 

On his resignation Francis had certainly preserved for him- 
self a definite position of authority — at the P^tecost Chapter 
of 1221, for example, it was he who sent out the German mis- 
sionaries, and there are other indications that he alwa)rs sat 
there with an authority by no means small.^ Francis mean- 
while had never been addicted to exercising any real compul- 
sion. "He wished rather to reach the goal with the good than 
with the bad," sa3rs Jordanus. If he could not carry through 
his wish, then in God's name he did not wish to rave and 
domineer "like the powers of this world." If he did not suc- 

^ "potestatem habetis vos," kis vicar, Pietio dd Cattani, said to him in the 
Holy Land (Jordanus, p. 5). See ditto, pp. 7-8, the expressions "nullum ad 
ipsos ire compellU frater" (Frandscus), "eandem oa ciediemHam daie vult," 
''de liceniia beati Fimndsd.'' 



ceed in making the Brothers do their duty, then he comforted 
himself by being personally doubly dutiful.^ 

Wills more energetic had full sway over a man of this dis- 
position of mind. First and foremost was Elias of Bombarone, 
or as he was caUed later, Elias of Cortona, a will of this stamp, 
but behind him stood others who supported him and were on 
his side against Francis. One of them we know by name — it 
was Brother Petrus Stada from Bologna. The others appear 
on the records only under the title ''ministen/' by which are 
meant more especially the Superiors of the Italian ProvinceSy 
or as the Franciscan expression has it, tninisiri of these prov- 

I mentioned Bologna above, and in doing so I named the 
centre of the opposition which, within the Order itself, appeared 
against Francis. There was from old times a connection 
between the Franciscans and the celebrated University town. 
As early as 121 2 Bernard of Quintavalle had preached there, 
and in 1213 this Friar Minor settled in a house which was 
called Le Pugliole, just outside the Porta Galliera. A number 
of the most important men within the ranks of the new Order 
had studied in Bologna, among them Frauds' two first vicars, 

* "Omnia per humflitatem maluit vincere quam per judicii potestatem." 
(Afial. Fr.y I, p. 5, n. 13.) " nolo camifcx fieri . . . sicut potestates hujus saecufi." 
(Spec. perf,t cap. 71.) ''nolebat contendere cum ipais, sed . . . voldmt in se 
inud impiere." (Ditto, cap. a.) 

* The whole area over which the Older was distributed was divided in 1233 
into twelve provinces; each — following Frands' prohibition of the word 
prior — was subject to a "servant of the province" (minister prorinciaUs^ 
compare Matthew zz. a6). The single provinces were then divided into smaller 
districts (custodiae) under charge of a cusios or watchman. The superior of a 
locus (convent) bore a similar title (jguardianus). The minister of a province, 
for example of Mai^ Ancona, had under him custodes for the districts {cusUh 
diae) Fermo, Asooli, Camerino, Ancona, Jesi, Fano, and Feletro. The 
custos for the custodia of Fermo, so often mentioned in the PufretU, had under 
him guardians in Fallerone, Bruforte, Soffiano, Massa, Penna, Moiiano; he 
was also guardian of the convent of Fermo. At the head of the whole Order 
was the General Minister, a name which was abbreviated to "General" (as 
the "Provincial Minister" became "Minister"), but he was still the "Servant 
of the whole Order." On this peculiarity of the Franciscan nomenclature the 
Chronica XXIV generalium says: "omnes profesaores ejusdem" (regulae) 
^tam praelatos quam subditos, nominibus evangelids nuncupavit." Even the 
designation fratres minores (Friars Minor, lesser brothers) is traced to a place 
in the gospel (Matthew zzv. 40 and 45), where the Vulgate has the woid 
minaribus (in English "lesser"). 



Pietro dei Cattani and Elias, and the most of the following 
Generab of the Order: Johannes Parent!, Aymon of Faver- 
sham, Crescentius of Jesi, John of Parma. It has been told 
already, that the University Professor, Nicholas of Pepoli, who 
from the beginning had been the advocate and benefactor 
of the Order, eventually entered it himself; Bologna's most 
celebrated lawyer, Accursius, called the great, at about the 
same time bequeathed to the Order his villa, La Richardina, 
outside the town, where the first convent was soon found to be 
too sihall. And finally Peter of Stada opened a house of study 
for Franciscans, like the theological school opened in Bologna 
by the Dominicans.^ 

But this was displeasing to Francis. All his life he had been 
an idiotaj as he used to call himself, an ignorant man. He 
had nothing against studies, and Sabatier is wrong when he 
ascribes to Francis a definite opposition to wisdom. In the 
form of an Admonition he once had the following written: "All 
theologians and those who serve us with God's word we should 
honor and revere, because they give us the spirit and life."^ 
This study should have a practical object, however; it ought 
to serve the proclamation of the Divine Word. Accordingly 
only few books were required; in prayer, that which grips the 
heart is the best to learn. Francis himself liked to read the 
Holy Scriptures; his works show this. But as he grew older 
it seemed to him that he had read endugh even of God's 
word, and that for the rest of his life he had enough to do in 
pondering over it — and in practising it.* For — and it was 
to this his thought always reverted — example is,thfi.J>^t 
preaching. He recognized well in his Rule three classes of 
members — praedicaiareSy oratores, Idboratores — and he placed 
the preachers above those who prayed and those who worked. 
But he says also, ''all Brothers ought to preach by their 
actions."^ And he goes on to warn against ''the wisdom of 

^Hllarin Felder: "Gesckkhle der wissefuckaftUchen Studien im Prancis- 
kanerorden" (Freibuig im Br., 1904)1 pp. 123-131. The same words in his Testa- 
ment (Opusc, pp. 78-79). 

* Cd., Vita sec,, II, c. 122 (d'Alen^Mi). The same expnaBixm in his Testft* 
ment (Opusc., pp. 78-^9). 

* Cc^, VUa sec,, U, c 72. 

* Reg. prima, cap. XVII (Bdhmer, p. 16). 


this world" and against those who are all word, and do 
nothing, against those who try to seem, not to be. '^As for 
myself," he declares at last, ''I know Jesus Christ and him 
crucified, that is enough for me."^ 

A tale is preserved for us in the Speculum perfecHonis^ 
which belongs to this time, and which gives the clearest pos- 
sible illustration of Frands' attitude as regards useless and 
injurious book-learning. 

A young novice had received permission from Brother 
Elias to have a copy of David's Psalms and to read them. 
When he came to know that it was not pleasing to Francis 
that his Brothers should be eager after learning and books, he 
wished, for his conscience's sake in reading his Psalter, to 
have also Francis' permission to own it. To his request for 
this Frands replied: 

''The Emperor Charles, Roland, Holger and all the other 
heroes fought with the heathen with much sweat and labor 
and conquered them and were at last holy martyrs and fell 
in the strife for the faith of Christ. But in these dajrs there 
are many who only by telling and preaching about what the 
saints have done, want to win reputation and glory." 

The young novice was not satisfied with this answer, but 
still forced his request upon Francis. Francis looked up — he 
sat with the other Brothers by the fire warming himself — 
and answered: 

"My Son! Once you have got the Psalter, then you will 
want a Breviary, when you have got a Breviary, you will 
want to sit in the high seat like a great prelate and say to 
thy Brothers, ^ Bring me my Breviary.^ " 

And displeased and filled with anxious thoughts of the future 
prospects of his Order, he reached down into the warm ashes, 
spread a handful upon the head of the Brother so fond of 
reading, rubbed the ashes around as if he were washing his 
head, and called out again and again, ''/ am thy Breviary! 
/ am thy Breviary!" 

"Brother," said Frands next as he sat down somewhat 
quieter, ''even I have been tempted to collect books. But as 

^ "Non ploriboB iodigeo, fili. Scio Christum pauperem cradfizum.'* Cela* 
no, VUa sectmda, 11, c. 71. 


I did not know God's will about these things, I took the Book 
of Gospels and prayed God to let me know his will. And I 
opened the book and at once found these words: ^To you it is 
given to know the mjrstery of the kingdom of God, but to the 
rest in parables. ' " 

Francis was silent for a moment and then added: ^^ There 
are so many in our days who want to seek wisdom and learn- 
ing, that happy is he who, out of love for the Lord our God, 
makes himself ignorant and unlearned." ^ 

Undoubtedly Francis was right in thinking that the time in 
which he lived was more eager after learning than almost any 
other epoch. Not less than seventy new imiversities were 
established in the course of the half-century from 1200 to 1250 
— of these eight in Italy alone (Reggio, Vicenza, Padua, 
Naples, Vercelli, Rome, Piacenza, Arezzo). The three great 
and earlier-established universities in Paris, Bologna and 
Oxford reached at the same time their full development, and 
the powerful uplift in knowledge began which characterized 
the later Middle Ages. In this movement the Dominicans 
took part from the beginning — it stood in their statutes 
/inherited from the Augustinian choir-masters. Now the 
I Friars Minor were to be drawn along in the same tendency of 
I Ithe day, and it was here that Frands for the first time seri- 
ously set himself in opposition, here he showed himself — as 
in the vision Brother Leo had — with claws and outstretched 
wings defending his Order.' 

Francis' wrath first was excited by Peter Stad aand his house 
of study in Bologna. Certainly Peter had not established it 
by his own hand, but in co-opeiation with Hugolin, who in 
1220 was in Bologna, and had himself recorded as owner of 
the requisite building.' Francis at once travelled thither, 
ordered the Brothers to leave the house in the name of obedi- 
ence — even one of them who lay sick had to go out — and 
took his own abode among the Dominicans. Here the Broth- 

* ''Tot sunt qui libeater asoendunt ad sdentiam quod beatus erit qiu aa 
fecerit sterflem amore Domini Dd." Spec, perf.^ c 4. The place quoted abova 
is in Luke viii. 10. Compare Cdano, VUa secunda, U, c. 147 (d'Al.). 

^Anal. Ff., m, 71. 

' Spec, perf.t c 6 (Sab. ed., p. z6). 


ers sought him and promised p^iance and amendment with 
the exception of Peter Stada, whom the otherwise so cheerful 
Francis is said to have cursed — a curse he never to the day 
of his death was willing to take back.^ 

It was not only evangelical simplicity which Francis found 
to have been impaired by Peter — it was also evangelical 
poverty, and therefore was Francis so inflexible. How was 
it possible to be a good Friar Minor, if one had to buy great, 
fine, learned, expensive books and have big, fine, costly houses 
to keep them in? Was it not written in the gospel — and 
therefore also in the Rule of the Order — ^'Take nothing with 
you on the way." ''I understand these words thus," said 
Francis, ''that the Brothers ought to have nothing except a 
habit with a rope and underclothing and shoes, as much as is 
necessary." ''What shall I do?" a minister once asked him. 
"I have books that are worth more than fifty pounds of 
silver." "For the sake of your books I will not disobey the 
books of the gospel which I have promised to follow as my 
guide," answered Francis.* Therefore he did not neglect to 
insert in the ideal pictiu'e of a General of the Order, which he 
once produced, the minor but essential trait: "And he must 
not be a collector of books." • 

But more will was needed to carry throu^ this fight than 
Frands possessed. It was the others — those who were not 
content to honor wisdom at a distance, but wanted to have a 
part in it — who were the stronger. If Brother Leo is to be 
trusted, Elias and his party even made a direct attempt to 
have the Rule written by Frands invalidated, and to accept in 
its stead the Dominicans' Rule, for example, in which study 
occupied a much more prominent place. At a Chapter of the 
Order, perhaps in 1222 or 1223, they secured HugoUn for their 
plan. Francis heard the carefully framed remarks of the Car- 
dinal. Without answering, he seized his hand, drew him out 
among the assembled Brothers and^cried out in a loud voice: 

^ Angelo CHaieao, quoted by ffilarin Felder, p. X25, n. z. Adus B, Fran" 
dscif cap. 61. 

* Cd., VUo see.t 11, 33 (d'Alen^n). The passage of Scripture referred to 
is Luke iz. 3. Fifty poundb in ooodem money is about 450 dollars. (Hilarin 
Felder, p. 80, note 2.) 

*"Non sit aggregator librorum." Spec, perf,, p. 156. 


''My Brothers, my Brothers, the Lord called me to travel 
the paths of humility and simplicity and with me all those 
who want to follow and copy me. Do not then speak to me 
either of the Rule of St. Benedict or of St. Augustin or of St. 
Bernard or of any other. For the Lord said to me, that he 
wished me to be a fool and a simpleton, the like of which was 
never seen before, and that he wished to bring us on another 
road than that of wisdom. But God wants to put you all to 
shame with your wisdom and knowledge, and I expect that 
he will send his master of discipline and punish you, so that 
whether you will or not you must with shame turn back to 
your place." ^ 

Was Francis justified in his fear of knowledge? It is true 
that the Apostle says, ''Knowledge puffeth up; but Charity 
edifieth/'but it is also true, what has been said in our day, that 
this word must often cover over something far different from 
holiness.* Purely and simply to seek the truth and nothing 
but the truth is also a cultivation of God, and the disinterested 
seeking of truth exercises a strengthening and purifying influ* 
ence on the entire moral being of man. To be open to all 
truth is in reality a sign of a will open to all good. It is with 
justice that the Apostle speaks in another place of the "holi- 
ness of truth " — he knew that holiness in the will is a fruit 
of truth in thought, and that only the fuU disposition for truth 
is the full disposition for holiness. 

I What most displeased Francis was, perhaps in his innermost 
: heart, the pride of intelligence, egoism, the perversion of wis- 
)dom to a means of flattering the vanity of the ego. He did 
'.not desire that man should adorn himself with wisdom so as 
to be looked at and esteemed of men. It was much better, 

^ Spec, perf., c. 68. ''Et dixit mihi Dominus quod volebat me esse unum 
novellum pactum.*' The correct reading is undoubtedly Pazzum (Ital. Pazeo); 
this is found also in a MS. of the fourteenth century edited by Lemmens, the 
Verba S. Francisci: "dixit mihi Dominus, quod volebat, quod ego essesn unus 
noveilus pazzus in hoc mundo" (Doc. Ant, Franc.y I, Quaracchi, 1901, p. 104). 
Bartholomew of Pisa (ed. 15 13, fol. 32b) in a like sense has Fatuellum. 
Francis was clearly enough thinking of that nuifwa paasia Jaoopone da Todi 
was to sing of — that madness of the Cross, which Elias and his followers 
never knew or understood. 

t Vadage " Sdentia inflat/' cher d queHques saints et d heaucouf ie paresseux. 
(The Bollandist van Ortrov in Anakcta BoUandiana. Quoted from memory.) 


he felt, to fall on the knees and pray to God for your fellow 
men, alone and unknown in a grotto or a hermitage high up 
among the moimtains, than in a cathedral with a sotd full of 
vanity over what a fine fellow one is. 

"TTiese are my Knighis of the Round Table,^' Francis was in 
the habit of saying with one of the wonted expressions from 
the days of his youthful knighthood-mania, ^'who Uve far 
away in desert places in prayer and meditation and weep over 
their own and the sins of others and live in simplicity and 
humbly. For when their souls will go before the Lord, then 
will the Lord show them the fruit and recompense for their 
work, namely many souls, whom they by their examples, prayers 
and tears have saved. *My dear sons,' he will say, 'others 
preached with their learned words, but I saved souls by your 
merits; take the payment for your work and the fruit of your 
merits, which is the eternal kingdom of heaven.' But diose 
who have not troubled themselves about ansrthing else than 
to know and to show the way to others and have done nothing 
for themselves, they must stand naked and empty and to their 
shame before the judgment seat of Christ." To this illus- 
tration, which Francis was accustomed to give the Brethren 
at the General Chapters, he was accustomed to add an extract 
from the first book of Samuel (ii. 5) : " the barren hath borne 
many: and she that had many children is weakened." ^ 

Prayer and life in its entirety, not words or theory, was for 
Francis the essential in spite of everything — the essential on 
which he and his Brothers especially had to depend. Others 
might take the way that pleased them, he neither condemned 
nor criticized them, as little as he condemned or criticized those 
who went in gay and costly clothes. He believed that he 
knew only what it was that he and his were called to make 
straight on the earth, and if he finally — as some think — gave 
Anthony of Padua (whose Portuguese University acquirements 
had been discovered and were to be utilized) permission to 
teach theology to the Brothers in Bologna, then it certainly 
happened in the form preserved by tradition: 

''To my dearest Brother Antonius greeting in Christ from 
Brother Francis. It pleases me that thou readest theology 

^Spee. pmfn cap. 72. 


for the Brothers, provided they do not for the sake of this 
study give up their prayers and slacken the spirit of devotion, 
as it stands in the Rule. Farewell."^ 

Francis here alludes to the final Rule in which this precq)t 
is found in the fifth chapter. This chapter may have then 
stood in the Rule, but the Rule as a whole may not have been 
as yet accepted and recognized. It was first on November 29, 
1222 that it was so accepted, and Anthony left Bologna in 
1224 to go to Montpellier. If his lectures may have extended 
over any considerable space of time, they must have b^un 
earlier, and it would seem probable that this permission was 
given in the simmier of 1222, when Francis is known to have 
been in Bologna. Anthony at the time was stopping in Forli, 
in the province of Romagna, to which also the learned Univer- 
sity dty belonged. 

That Francis, moreover, in spite of all internal changes in 
his order, continued to be greeted by the people with the 
same inspiration as before, and that his simple sermons even 
in the learned Bologna had made the deepest impression, is 
made known to us by an eyewitness' tale. In Thomas of 
Spalato's Historia Pontificum SalonUanorum et Spalatensiumj 
which was written before 1268, the author gives the following: 

"The same year" — i.e., 1222 — "on the holiday of the 
Assumption" (August 15) "as I was a student in Bologna, I 
saw St. Francis preach in the market-place in front of die 
court-house, where nearly all the town were gathered. But 
the beginning of his sermon was, ^Angels, Men, Devils.' He 
now spoke so well and skilfully on these three kinds of reason- 
able spirits, that many learned men who were present were 
not a little astonished to hear an unlearned man (idiolae) 
speak thus. But the whole theme of his discourse was to 
assuage enmities and to create peace. His habit .was dirty, 
his appearance insignificant, his face not handsome. But 

^ B5hmer, "Anakkten" p. 71. Compare Thomas of Celano, Viia sec., II, 
c X 22 (d'Al.). " Et beato Antonio cum semel acriberet, sic poni fedt in prindpio 
Htterae: Fratri Antonio episcopo meo." This address, so characteristic of 
Fiands' politeness, is not to be found in the existing text; but there is no reason 
to doubt the authentidty of the letter. It is found for the first time in the 
Chnm» XXIV gm* of the last half of the fourteenth century. (AfuU. FranCt 
m, 132.) 


God gave his word such power, that many noble families, 
between whom there was much old-time enmity and q)illed 
blood, allowed themselves to be induced to make peace. And 
all felt such great devotion and reverence for him, that men 
and women in crowds precipitated themselves upon him, and 
tried to tear off bits of his habit or even to touch the hem of 
his garment."* 

It is impossible to read without emotion this old account by 
one who himself had seen and heard St. Francis. It seems as 
if Francis first wanted to impose upon his learned audience a 
little in choosing so academic a theme as the different kinds 
of intelligent beings. Angels, Men, Devils. But soon it was 
the old Francis again, the preacher disappeared, the people's 
q)eaker remained. And then did his words seize, attack and 
inspire for God just as in the old days in Assisi or Arezzo, or 
when he established peace between the Wolf of Gubbio and 
the citizens of the town. Old hatreds were written in the 
Book of Lethe, death and assassinations were stricken from the 
tablets, hands were clasped in forgiveness for recent bloodshed. 
Near as he was to his death Francis was the same as on the 
first day, when he stood upon the steps in the market-place 
of Assisi to exhort to peace. He is still the Herald of the Great 
Kingf and his message is exactly the same as fifteen years 
before — it is the greeting Jesus Himself had taught him: 
Daminus det tibi pacem, the Lord give thee peace. 

iBdhmer, p. 106. Thomas was archdeacon in Spalato (Dalmatia) m 
1230 and died May 8, 1268. Hitherto the date of this sermon of Francis 
has been given as 1220, following Wadding, but Bdhmer CAnaUkten" p. 6x) 
has definitely proved that it first was given in 1222. According to the Actus 
h. Prancisciy cap. 56, during this stay in Bologna Francis converted two students 
of the Mark of Ancona, Peregrine of Fallerone and Ricetius from Mucda, 
who afterwards became Friars Minor. " And although Brother P. was very 
learned and very advanced in canon law, he would never want to be considered 
a derk, but a simple lay-brother." This was quite in the spinX. of Francis. 
See also FioreUi, cap. 27. 




development Francis had opposed went its inflex* 
ible and unchangeable way. More and more did the 
Friars Minor become a learned Order of students like 
the Dominicans. 
After the Pentecost Chapter of 12 19 Brother Pacificusand 
his companions went back to France, provided with the Papal 
Letters of Introduction of June 1 1 of the same year. This 
time their intention was to stay in Paris, whither they seem 
not to have gone in 12 17, on their first mission journey. 
The French clerics seem not to have been satisfied with the 
letters brought by the Brothers, and inquired about them in 
Rome. The result of this inquiry was a new Papal com- 
mendation, addressed directly to the French prelates and dated 
May 29, 1220.^ This authorized the Brothers to settle in a 
house in St. Denis outside of Paris; they had there not even 
a chapel, but attended divine service in the adjacent parish 
church. Already in 1234 they had obtained their own large 
convent in St. Germam des Pr6s, and here a seminary was 
erected to accommodate 214 students. The number of ap- 
plicants soon became so great, that often for long periods 
many had to remain enrolled upon the waiting lists, until the 
departure of students who had taken their examination gave 
room for others. 

Franciscans of the old t)^e saw only with doubt and reluc- 
tance this new departure. Especially was Brother Giles tire- 
less in opposing it. Time after time he used his sharp wit 
against the learned Brothers who seemed to him false children 

^ Pro dilecHs filiis. Sbar., I, p. 5. Potth., I, nr. 6263. Hilarm Felder: 
"Gtsch. der vnssemch. Studien" p. 159. 



lof St. Francis. " There is a great diflFerence/' said he, " between 
'a sheep which bleats and one which grazes. For braying does 
no one any good, but grazing does itself good. It is so with a 
Friar Minor who preaches, and one who prays and works. 
A thousand and again a thousand times better is it to teach 
oneself than to teach the whole world." 

Another time he broke out thus: "Who is the richer — he 
who has only a little garden and cultivates it, or he to whom 
the whole world was given and who does nothing with it? So 
much wisdom does not help to salvation, but he who really 
wishes to know much must work much and bow his head 

A Brother came to Giles and wished to have his blessing for 
preaching in the market-place in Perugia. "Yes," answered 
Giles, "provided thou wilt limit thy preaching to saying, 'A 
great cry and little wool is what I give! ^ " ^ 

Once Giles went into the garden in front of the hermitage 
of Monte Ripido near Perugia, where he lived for thirty years 
after the death of Francis. He heard some laborers in a vine- 
yard getting scolded by their master, because they talked 
instead of working. FaUe^faitef e non parlaUy "Work, work, 
and don't talk," the master of the vineyard said to them. 
This was just the word for Giles. He left his cell and sought 
the other Brothers: "Hear this now, what the man says, 
'Work, work, and don't talk}'" 

Another time Giles heard a tmtle-dove cooing in the garden. 
"O sister dove," said he, "I will learn from you how to serve 
the Lord! For thou sayest always Qua^ Qua, not La, La, — 
here, here on earth, and not there, there in heaven, are we to 
serve God. O sister dove, how beautifully thou cooestl O 
children of men, why do you not learn from our sister 

In such moments, it seemed to Brother Giles as if the old 
times were back again, when he and Francis, as God's musi- 
cians, wandered through Italy. Inspired by the thought, he 
sang his songs in honor of his queen. Poverty, and her sister the 
noble lady Chastity, while he kept moving up and down among 

^ "docidt eum f rater Aegidius quod sic diceret in aermone: Bo, bo, moU0 
dko e poco fo,** (Anal. Franc,, TH, p. 86.) 


his flower-beds and played as if on a violin with two sticks, 
one of which he scraped across the other.^ 

But soon Brother Giles awakened from his memories and 
dreams and saw that the good old times were irrevocably 
gone, that Francis was dead, and he himself an old man whose 
ideas did not interest anyone. It was as if the sun was extin- 
guished for him, and the flowers in his little garden smelt 
sweetly no longer, and the turtle-doves ceased their cooing. 
Then Brother Giles sighed deeply and long: ''Our ship leaks 
and must sink; let him flee who cani Paris, Paris, thou ruin- 
est St. Francis' Order!" 

This sigh found its echo from now on among the best of the 
sons of St. Francis. 'Taris, thou hast ruined Assisi " was 
the song of Jacopone da Todi.* And when Giles in his old 
age was placed before the General of the Order, St. Bonaven- 
ture, the first question he asked this learned man was the 
following: ''Father, can we ignorant and unlearned men be 
saved?" "Certainly," answered St. Bonaventure kindly. 
" Can one who is not book-learned love God as much as one 
who is?" asked the old Franciscan again. "An old woman 
is in a condition to love God more than a master in theology " 
was Bonaventure's answer. Then Giles stood up, went to 
the wall of his garden and called out to the wide world, " Hear 
this, all of you, an old woman who never has learned any- 
thing and cannot read can love God more tfian Brother 

This true disciple of Francis of Assisi died soon after; 

* Anal. PranCf HI, p. 86, p. lox. The song praising Poverty reads: "O mi 
fratellOy o bel fratello, o amor fratello, fami un casteilo, che no abbia ptetra e 
ferro. O bd fratello, fami una dttade, che no abbia pietra e Ugname." For 
the sonnet in praise of Chastity, see p. zog, n. z. 

* ''Mai vedemmo Parigi, che n' ha destrutto Assisi, con la lor lettoria I'hanno 
messo in mala via." (Jacopone da Todi : Pocsie spiritualif ed. Tresatti. Venice, 
x6i7, X, I, satira lo. Quoted by Felder, ditto, p. 334.) 

* Anal. Franc., Ill, p. 86, p. zoz. Bonaventure, who in his writings often 
alludes to Brother Giles and puts him on the same plane with St. Augustin or 
Richard of St Victor, has not forgotten this incident. In his CoUatumes t» 
hexaemeron it is thus told: "Sic ecce, quod una vetula, quae habet modicum 
hortum, quia solam caritatem habet, meliorem fructimi habet quam unus 
magnus magister, qui habet maximum hortum et scit mysteria et natuias 
lerum." (Bonav., Opera, t. V, Quaracchi 1891, p. 418, n. 36.) These cofto- 
Htmes date from the yean 1267-1273 0*c ProUgamena^ p. XXXVI). 


Giles joined his master and those friends who had gone before 
him on April 22, 1262 — the eve of the feast of St. George, 
the same evening on which he, over fifty years before, had 
sat by the fire in his father's house in Assisi and had heard 
him tell about Francis and had made up his mind to seek him. 
Through a long life he had kept his heart faithful to the first 
and only love of his younger days.^ 

The development of the Order in the direction of study had 
taken a greater impulse after the Franciscans went to England, 
September 10, 1224. This mission went out from France and 
was led by Agnello of Pisa, who had been Cusios in Paris. 
The Brothers settled first in Canterbury, but as early as 
November i, 1224 had established themselves in Oxford. 
Here they received a large accession of students and candidates 
from the celebrated University, and study was nowhere more 
eagerly piursued than among the English Brothers. Ecdes- 
ton tells how they, on their bare feet, went long distances in 
frost and cold or in unfathomable mud to go to the lectures. 
At the same time they adhered most strictly to the Franciscan 
vows of poverty; they also had the Franciscan joy with them 
in their house; as soon as they saw each other they must 
laugh, and even in the church this ecstatic joy would seize 
them, so that for sheer happiness they could not say their 
choral prayers.* The Frandscanism of the English Brothers 
was thus in some wajrs very genuine, and Elias of Cortona, 
when General, had no more fixed opponents of his violations 
of the Rule than the learned Friar Minor, Adam of Marsh.* 
None the less it was an Englishman, Aymon of Faversham, 
who as General of the Order from 1240 to 1244 ordained that 
none except the book-learned should be officers in the Order.^ 

Brother Giles' and Brother Juniper's type was on the point 
of dying out. And how could it be otherwise? At the 
Pentecost Chapter of 1221 there were present three thou- 
sand of the Brethren. But could Francis expect that all 

^Fr. Gisbert Menge: **Der sdige Agidius von Assist" Paderbom, 2906, 
pp. XX4-116. 

*An(d. Franc,, I, pp. 2x7-218, pp. 226-228. 

* Anal. Franc., Ill, pp. 229-230. 

^ "Hie generaUs frater Haymo laicos ad offida ordinis inhalNlitavit, quae 
iiaque tunc, ut derid, ezercebant." Anal. Franc., UI, p. 25X. 


these, like the first twelve disciples, were to be ''Knights 
of the Round Table"? Jordanus of Giano tells very honor- 
ably of himself that he, instead of being an adventurous 
warrior of God's army, energetically set himself in opposi- 
tion when it was proposed to send him as a missionary to 
Germany.^ Brothers like this were no longer heaven-soaring 
larks; Francis saw justly in them chickens, who sought shel- 
ter imder protecting wings. 

The same tendency became manifest in the Third Order at 
last, the Order foimded by Francis for married men and women. 

If we believe Thomas of Celano, it came to pass that 
St. Francis, after having preached to the birds at Bevagna, 
came to a town called Alviano, between Orte and Orvieto, 
near Todi. Here he and Brother Masseo stopped in the 
market-place and were going to preach. But it was now 
evening, and the many swallows, who still build their nests 
in the old grey walls and ruinous towers of Alviano, circled 
to and fro with ceaseless twittering and glad little cries in and 
out of their nests imder the eaves. Francis and Masseo, as 
was their custom, sang their Laud, Timete et hanaratey^ and 
the people collected and stood expectantly in silence, while the 
singing lasted. But those who did not keep silence were the 
swallows. Lower and lower they swept across the market- 
place in ever thicker flocks, and their twittering and cries 
increased imtil at last no soimd could be heard. Then Francis 
looked up with his patient countenance and said very cheer- 
fully: "My sister swallows, it seems to me now that the 
time has come when I should have a chance to speak; now you 
have said enough ! Hear therefore God's word and keep still 
and quiet while I preach!" And at once all the swallows 
were silent and made no sound, as long as Francis 

"But on account of this miracle and on account of the 
glowing words Francis spoke, all the inhabitants of the town 
wanted to follow Frauds and be his disciples. But Frands 
restrained them and said, 'Be not too hasty, I will ordain 
for you what you shall do to be saved. ' And from that time 
on," the Actus b. Francisci goes on to say, "he thought of 

* Anal. Franc, J I, p. 7. ■ Reg, prima, cap. XXI. 


establishing a third order qui didtur coniinenUum, which is 
called the abstainers/'^ 

More than once such things happened to Francis. As an in- 
stance there was a parish priest who, after he had heard Fran- 
cis, wished to live the same life as he did, without, however, 
abandoninghisfieldofwork. Francis conceded to him to remain 
in his church and only ordered him each year, when he had 
collected his tithes, to give the poor what might be left of the 
tithes of the preceding year.^ It was a Franciscan renunciation 
of possessions modified to suit the circumstances of the case. 

On one of his wanderings Francis met in the town of Poggi- 
bonsi in the valley of Elsa (between Florence and Siena) a 
merchant named Luchesio, whom, it seemed to him, he had 
known in early youth. Like the Sienese, John Colombini, 
who figured later, Luchesio had hitherto been a hard and 
penurious man, with one exception in his sparing ways. He 
was generous with the poor, gave lodging to pilgrims, received 
and helped widows and orphans. Francis seems to have had 
no influence in his conversion, but only to have given him and 
his wife. Bona Donna, a rule of life and a penitential garment. 
After this Luchesio devoted all his time to works of charity, 
took care of the sick in the hospitals and went out with an 
ass loaded with medicines into the fever-laden Marenmia, to 
bring succor to the many fever patients there. If be was 
home, he worked in a little garden he had retained after 
parting with his other possessions, and whose fruits he sold. 
If this way of life did not bring him enough, he would go out 
and I>(eg. Bona Donna seems for a while to have insisted 
vigorously these proceedings of her husband, but like John 
Colombini's wife, she is said to have become converted by a 
miracle. After this they lived in imity together and died at 
an interval of a few hours, April 28, 1260.* 

^ Cd., V. pr,f I, XX, 59. In Actus b. Francisct (Sab. ed., p. 57) the scene 
of this incident is laid in Cannara between Foligno and Bevagna. Bonaven- 
ture (XII, 4) gives Alviano. The same name might suggest Laviano in the 
valley of Chiana, but Wadding declares positively for Alviano near Todi (see 
1313, n. 33). PioreUi (cap. 16) calls the town Savumiano. 

' Bernard a Bessa (Anal, Franc,, III, pp. 6S6-687). 

' A. 55., Aprfl m, pp. 610-6x6. Count Orlando dei Cattani of Cfaiuai 
a garment of penance from Frands also (see above p. 163, note x). 



Around Luchesio as a centre a circle of people of sunilar 
inclination collected in Poggibonsi, and in the same way, in 
other Italian cities, there were formed what Gregory IX was 
to designate as PoenitetUium coUegia^ ''commimities of peni- 
tents." ^ It is to be believed that, as in the case above, 
Francis gave these penitents a Rule of Life; this was ever 
his custom with all who asked him for q>iritual guidance. 
None of these Rules are in existence, and it is only by the help 
of later sources that we can acquire an idea of their actual 
scope and contents.* 

It was characteristic of the Penitential Brothers — the 
expression Tertiary, i.e.. Member of the Third Order of 
St. Francis, only appeared later — that they sought in their life 
in the world to imitate the ways of Francis and his Brothers. 
They were to be in the world, but not of the world. As soon 
as they entered the Brotherhood they pledged themselves 
to give back all \m justly acquired goods — which in many 
cases meant to give up ever3rthing — to pay the tithes for 
which they might stand in arrears, to make their wills in time 
to prevent strife among their heirs, not to take an oath, except 
in special, extraordinary cases, and not to accept public office. 
They wore a poor and distinctive habit and divided their 
time between prayer and deeds of charity. They generally 
lived with their families, but sometimes, like the Friars Minor, 
withdrew into solitude. 

These Penitential Brothers very soon came in conflict 
with the public authorities, on account of their principles. 
Impressive in this aspect is an incident that occurred in the 

^ Gregory DC to Agnes of Bohemia, May 9, 1238 (Sbar., I, p. 341). 

*I follow here Karl Mailer's fundamental studies in "Die Airfdnn^ des 
MinoriUnordens" pp. 130 et seq., as well as Le Monnier: Histoke de S. Fr<m- 
^piSf II, pp. 1-40. The regida et vUa fratnim vd sororum poemUnUum found 
by Sabatier in the Frandscan convent in Capistrano in the Abruzai and pub- 
lished in Opuscules, I, pp. 16-30, comprise probably the Rule written by Francis 
and Hugolin in co-operation for the Penitential Brothers and in any case date 
from 1228, except for a few later additions. The papal bulls in favor of the 
Brothers, quoted by Karl MCUler as above, pp. 133 et seq., are about the best 
proofs. See also Mandonnet in Sabatier's Opuscules, I, pp. 143-345, Sabatier 
in Coll., n, pp. 157-163, GOtz: "Die Kegel des Tertiarierordens,** and Karl 
MttUer: "Zur GeschickU des BussbrUderordetu," both in "Zeitschr. f. Kgsch.," 
Vol. XXni (1903), pp. 97-107 and 496-534. 


dty of Faenza (near Rimini). Here the citizens had joined 
the local Brotherhood in great numbers, and when the mayor 
wished them to take the usual oath of obedience, by which 
they would oblige themselves to take up arms when the 
authorities ordered it, they refused to swear, imder the claim 
that to swear such an oath involving the taking up of arms 
was against their Rule. By every means of compulsion the 
mayor tried to force the Brotherhood to take this oath, and 
apparently they turned in their need to Francis' friend, 
Cardinal Hugolin. This is the only supposition by which 
we can explain the fact that Honorius III, in a document of 
December 16, 1221, ordered the Bishop of Rimini to take the 
Penitential Brothers in Faenza into his protection.^ 

This dispute between the Penitential Brothers and the 
authorities soon spread over the whole of Italy. As a sort of 
punishment the dties subjected the Penitential Brothers to 
special taxes, or forbade them to give their property to the 
poor. In a circular letter to the Archbishops of all Italy, 
Honorius orders the clergy to take the side of the Brothers 
against the public authorities and to see that they are not 
injured in any way, and scarcely had Gregory IX become 
Poi>e when he time after time threatened the enemies of the 
Penitential Brothers with " the anger of God and of the holy 
Apostles, Peter and Paul."^ More fortunately situated than 
the Quakers and Adventists of a later time, the Penitentia] 
Brothers could bring about at least a partial disarming in 
the quarrelsome Italian republics and in some degree pave 
the way for future days of greater peace. And thus it fell to 
Francis' lot, or to that of the movement instituted by him, 
to tame the wolves of the Middle Ages. 

As soon as the dissension in Faenza broke out, it very natu- 
rally occurred to Hugolin to imite the scat^red Brotherhoods 
into a united and therefore more powerful body. In the late 
summer of 122 1 he still resided in Bologna and in its environs 

1 SigrUficahm est nobis (Sbaralea, I, p. 8. Potth., I, 6736). 

* In his letter of March 28, 1230 (Detestanda kumani generis, Sb., 1, p. 39, 
Potth., I, 8159) Gregory DC quotes his predecessor's bull. For Gregory's 
other utterances in favor of the Penitential Brothers see Sbar., I, pp. 30 
and 65. 


and therefore had much to do with the citizens of Faenza in 
various ways.^ Francis and Hugolin apparently at this time 
wrote in common the first Rule for the Penitential Brother- 
hood or, as they were already called by Bernard of Bessa, 
the Third Order.* "The Third Order," the secretary of 
St. Bonaventiu^ writes, "is equally for clerics and layfolk, 
maidens, widows and married people. The intention of the 
Brothers and Sisters of Penance is to live honorably in their 
residences and to busy themselves with pious actions and to 
flee from the vanities of the world. And among them thou 
seest noble knights and others of the great ones of the world 
in humble costume acting so beautifully with the poor and 
rich that thou canst well see that they truly are God-fearing." * 
As has been said, the original kule of the Third Order, 
which Francis and Hugolin wrote, has not been preserved for 
us. But it certainly was the foundation of the Rule of 1228, 

1 Bdhmer has collected the proofs of this {'' AnaUkten,** p. XXXV). 

' The Friars Minor are the first, the Clares are the second. 

* Antd. Prwnc.f III, 686. Compare Tres Socii, cap. XIV end, as well aa 
Mariano of Florence's work, hitherto only existing in manuscript, on the 
Third Order (MS. Palatin 147 in the National Library in Flocence, studied by 
Sabatier in CcU,, 11, pp. 157-163). It says in it of St. Frands: "Havendo 
adunque fomito la oratione et sentendosi pieno di divino ^nrito et oon el con- 
sigUo et adiuto di messere Ugolino cardinale Ostiense che f u poi papa Gregorio 
nono compose et scripse una breue vita in quatordid rubriche distinta, la quale 
comincia: Viri et mulieres kujus fraUmitaHs etc. et intitulola: memofiaU 
froposiU frakym et sororum de poemientia m damSms propms existetUium. 
Sancto Francesco in oomporre questa regola essendo col sopradetto cardinale 
quello che lo spirito li dictava al cardinale porgeva, et el cardinale con sua 
propria mano alcune cose soperendo scriveva. La quale regola con breve 
parole scripta in se grande substantia contiene et e comune a chierid et layd, 
homini et donne, soluti et coniugati, vergine et vedove et in conclusione contiene 
suoi professori honestamente vivino nelle lore case in penitentia e che dieno 
opera alle opere della pieta f ugendo le mondiale pompe. . . . Et oosi scripta 
la regola cc»nindo in decta dtta di Firenze a ricevere al decto ordine li huomini 
et donne et questo achade lanno del Signore X2ai ad di venta di maggio." 

We see how well Mariano's description of the Order agrees with that of 
Bessa. When the Florentine chronicler wishes to daim that the Third Order 
originated in Florence, periiaps it is hb local patriotbm which makes him do 
it. But it is also concdvable that the original Latin text employed by Mariano 
contained — as BOhmer maintains — the word "Faventia" (Faenza), and 
that he read it ** Florentia." The Rule of 1228, found by Sabatier, which almost 
certainly originated in Faenza, has the exact title given by Mariano: MemoraU 
propositi fratrum et sororum de poenitentia in damUnu propriis existenHum. Mote- 
over, the date of publication is here found as 1221, and Chapter I begins Visi 
MS ktUus fratennitotis JuerisU* 


the merit of bringing which to light is Sabatier's, and which 
was valid in the Ravenna district, perhaps in Faenza. This 
Rule had the following contents: 

The first to the fifth chapter gives directions about clothing, 
fasts, prayers; the sixth chapter, paragraph i, is devoted to 
the Brothers' confessions and communions, which are fixed 
at three times in the year (July, Easter, Pentecost). Para- 
graph 2 inculcates conscientious payment of tithes; paragraph 

3 contains the prohibition against bearing weapons; paragraph 

4 forbids oaths (oaths of aUegiance and oaths in court are 
excepted) ; paragraph 5 is directed against cursing and swear- 
ing. Chapter VII treats of Meetings of the Order (once a 
month; mass is read, there is preaching and a collection). 
Chapter Vin on the sick; they are to be visited once a week, 
to be helped corporally as well as to be admonished spiritually. 
Chapter IX on praying for the deceased members and attend- 
ing the burials. Chapter X, paragraph i, on making one's 
will within three months of the day of reception; paragraph 2, 
to observe peace among themselves; paragraph 3, how to meet 
the attacks of the public authorities (the Heads of the Brother- 
hood shall have recourse to the Bishop). Paragraph 5 of this 
chapter treats of the requirements for being a Brother or a 
Sister — that one shall make peace with his neighbor, return 
ill-gotten goods, and pay arrears of tithes. Chapter XI, 
paragraph i, no heretic can be received; paragraph 2, mar- 
ried women must not be received without their husbands' 
consent. Chapters XII and Xin treat of the maintenance 
of discipline in the Order; especially are to be noted Chapter 
Xm, paragraphs 8 and 9, in which it is ordered that the 
member who has given open scandal and injured the good 
name of the Order shall acknowledge his offence before 
the assembled Brethren and accept his punishment. If the 
offence is very great, the offender can be expelled from the 
Order. In paragraphs 13 to 15 it is forbidden to take a com- 
plaint against a Brother or a Sister to the courts; all disputes 
must be settled within the Order. Paragraph 12 gives 
finally an addition to the command to return ill-gotten goods; 
if it is not known any more who has been wronged or who his 
heirs are^ then by a public crier, or by posting on the church 


pillars^ all and every one who has been injured by the newly 
entering Brother shall be invited to make known his claim.^ 

^ The Rule of 1228 in Sabader, Opusc^ I, pp. 16-30; Bdhmer, "Analektm," 
pp. 73-«2. 

The Rule for Tertiaries in Florence (Faenza?) given by Mariano in the 
manuscript r^erred to differs, as far as a provisional judgment can go, not a 
little from the Rule contained in the Capistrano manuscript See the list of 
chapter-headings in Mariano's version of the Rule given by Sabatier (Cofl., 
n, p. 159) and the comparison based thereon with the Capistrano Rule by 
Walter G<5tz in "Zdtschr. f. Kgsch./' XXIII (1902), pp. loo-xoi. As the Third 
Order, as already stated, was formed by the union of originally independent 
brotherhoods, there is nothing to preclude the belief that local interpretations 
existed along with the general Rule. 

For the wider development of the Third Order see Karl Mailer's (not unas- 
sailable) presentation in "Anfilnge des M. O.," pp. 145 et seq. 

The Third Order of the present day was reorganized by Leo XIII in 1883 
by the Constitution Misericors Dei fiUus, See Rev. Eugtee d'Ob/s Dkecr- 
hire des TaHaires de St. Fran^^ Paris, 1905. 


THE co-operation of Frands and Hugolin on the Ruk 
of the Friars Minor seems to have gone on in the 
same way as their co-operation in the Third Order's 
Rule. "St. Frands," says Mariano of Florence, 
''said to the Cardinal what the inspiration of the spirit told 
him, and the Cardinal wrote it down with his own hand and 
then added some things." ^ 

A tale preserved for ns in the Legenda anHqua gives a 
description of Hugolin's influence and of the correction he 
introduced. Francis, for instance, wanted to put into the 
Rule that if the ministers did not see to it that the Brothers 
followed the Rule literally and verbally, then the Brothers 
should be at liberty to follow the Rule, even against the 
desires of the ministers. Such a permission Francis had, 
among others, once given to Qesarius of Speier; he alone 
or with others of the same mind had Francis' permission to 
separate themselves from such of the Brothers who might 
appear unfaithful to the Rule, and to be at liberty "to follow 
it literally and without interpretation."* 

Undoubtedly Frands by this determination wanted to open 
a way of escape for the Brothers who in the questions of 
knowledge and poverty did not want to go with the stream. 
Hugolin was opposed to such a permission as being the sure 
road to the splitting up and dissolving of the Order. But 

^CoU. (Sabatier), 11, p. i6i. Compare Hugolin's own words in the bull 
Quo dongoH of September 28, 1230: "in condendo praedictam regulam . . . 
(Francisco) astiterimus " (Sbar., I, p. 68), and Bernard a Bessa in Anal, Franc., 
m, p. 686. 

'"ad litteram sine glossa" (compare Frands' strong prohibition in his 
Testament against interpreting the Rule and saying "it shall be thus under- 
stood," OpuscuUij p. 82). Sab., Opusc, I, pp. 96-97. 



Frands strongly advocated that the necessary permission 
should be embraced in the Ride, whereupon Hugolin said, 
''I will arrange it so that the intent of the Order shall not be 
changed, but only the expression." Francis agreed to this, 
but what eventually appeared in the Rule is only a very weak 
replica of his thought. 

In Frands' drawing up it was permitted, and even com- 
manded absolutely in the name of obedience, that the 
Brothers should disobey their superiors as far as it was neces- 
sary for obeying the Rule liUeralUery for the Rule was above 
the minister and the oath of obedience was one of obedience 
to the Rule, not to the ministers.^ In Hugolin's version 
the very Brothers in whom Francis saw his real sons, and to 
whom he had, in the person of Caesarius of Speier, given 
his benediction, became a sort of Scrupulists, whom the min- 
isters were exhorted to speak to with consideration and to 
exert persuasion upon. Those who in the eyes of Francis 
were the warriors of the good cause, in Hugolin's Rule become 

In addition to Hugolin, Brother Elias had also a great 
influence, as the Vicar of the Order, on the final form of the 
Rule. We have a proof of this in a letter which Francis wrote 
to him in the winter of 1222-1323. 

Elias had openly gone to Frands with a complaint against 
some Brothers and with pious wishes for their amendment. 
Frauds answered quite out of his usual trend of thought: 

"I will tell thee my ideas as well as I can: namely, that 
thou regardest it as a blessing only, both when the Brothers 

^ The same order of thought is to be seen m Thomas of CeUno's eipresaoB 
"obedientiis cunctis Frandscum omnino propono." V, sec., U, 84 (d'AL). 

' We can compare the two texts: ^ 

**ad SU08 ministros debeant et possint reairrere [fratres], minbtri veio 
teneantur eisdem fratribus per obedientiam postulata benigne et liberafiter 
concedere; quod si facere nollent, ipsi fratres habeant ficentiam et obedientiam 
earn" [sc. regulam] "Ktteraliter observandi, quia omnes tarn ministri quam 
subditi debent reguUe esse subject! " (Sab., Opusc, I, p. 94). 

"Et ubicumque sunt fratres qui sdrent et cognoscerent ae non posse regulam 
spiritualiter observare, ad suos ministros del>eant et possint recurrere. Ministri 
vero caritative et benigne eos redpiant et tantam familiaritatem habeant drca 
ipsos ut dicere possint eis et facere sicut domini servis suis. Nam ita debet 
quod ministri sint servi omnium fratrum" (Rtg. sec., cap. X). 


and other men oppose thee. . . . Thou must wish that it 
should be just so and not otherwise. ... I know with cer- 
tainty that in this there is true obedience. And love those 
who are opposed to thee, and wish nothing else for them than 
what the Lord will give thee. And herein show thou thy 
charity, that thou shalt not wish them to be better Chris- 
tians. And that shall be more for thee than to withdraw to a 
hermitage." * 

In the same deep spirit of charity that accepts everything 
from God's hand and will not even extricate itself from dis- 
agreeable surroundings or wish the betterment of one's fellow- 
men from the desire of effecting their improvement personally, 
Francis treats of another question, which imdoubtedly often 
came upon the stage with him and EUas. It is the question 
of what shall be done with the Brothers who are fallen into 
sin. EUas, who was so anxious to improve his neighbor, was 
natiurally in favor of strong measures — ^^It takes strong 
lye for a scurvy head " is one of the merciless popular proverbs. 
Frauds, on the other hand, writes: 

''As sure as thou lovest the Lord and me, His servant and 
thy servant, see thou to it that no Brother in the whole world, 
let him have sinned as he may, in any way, is permitted to 
go from thee without forgiveness, if he asks for it. And if 
he does not ask for forgiveness, then ask him if he does not 
want forgiveness. And if he comes a thousand times even 
before thy eyes with sm, then love him altogether more than 
thou lovest me, that thou mayest draw him to the Lord, 
and be always merciful to such. . . . 

''But of all the chapters there are in the Rules and that 
treat of deadly sins, we will, with the help of the Lord at the 
Pentecost Chapter , together with the Brethren, make a chapter 
to this effect: 'If any Brother, prompted by the evil enemy, 
falls into deadly sin, then he is obliged to reveal it to his 
guardian. And all Brothers who know that he has sinned 
must not put him to shame or attack him, but must show 

' "et non vdis quod stnt meliores christianj. Et btud sit tibi plus quam 
eremitoiium" (Bdhmer, p. 28). This is the reading of the three best raanu- 
Bcripts. A single MS. (S. Isidoro ^) in Lemmens' Opusada has (p. 108) the 
opposite: ''in hoc dilige eos, ut velis, quod sint meliores christiani." 


him great mercy and keep their Brother's sin very secret, for 
the healthy need no physician, only those who suffer iUness. 
Likewise they are obliged to send him with a companion to 
the guardian (custos). And the guardian shall mercifully 
help him, as he himself would want to be helped if he were 
in a similar case. And if a Brother falls into a venial sin, 
then he shall make it known to one of the Brothers, who is a 
priest, and if there is no priest, he shall make it known to his 
Brother, imtil he can find a priest, who can give him true 
absolution; but no other penance shall be given him than 
this: 'Go forth and sin no more!' 

''But that thou canst better comply with this letter, so 
keep it with thee until Easter. Then thou wilt be with thy 
Brothers. And then with the Lord's help we will see that a 
treatment is provided for everything lacking in the Rule." 

Few parts of Francis' writings give a better insight into the 
unboimded mildness and patience of his disposition. He was 
not one to extinguish the feeble flame or to break the bending 
branch. If we examine the regulation adopted at the Pente- 
cost Chapter of 1223, alluded to by Francis, it almost frightens 
us to see how little remains of what he desired. It runs thus 
short and dry: 

''If any Brother, incited by the evil enemy, falls into mortal 
sin, and if this is one of the sins which only the minister of 
the province can absolve, he is obliged to go to his provincial 
minister immediately. And if the minister is a priest, he 
shall prescribe a penance for him and absolve him, but if he 
is not a priest, then he shall let another priest in the Order 
give him a p>enance, as it seems to him most serviceable 
in the Lord. And the ministers ought to be on their 
guard that they are not angry or irritated over the sins of 
others, for anger and irritation are hindrances to Christian 

This leads up to a correct canonical mode of procedure, with 
some admonitions which belong elsewhere,^ but which were 
given a place here to appease Francis in some measure. And 
what has become of all of the deep evangelical charity of Frau- 
ds' letter — the charity which, face to face with the obdurate 

^ Reg, secunda, cap. VII. ' AdmomUo XI. 



or perhaps defiant siimer, is seized by innermost pity for his 
poor unfortunate soul and goes to him, falls on his neck, and 
whispers in his ear, ''Brother, dear, dear Brother, wilt thou 
not pray for forgiveness?" What is there left of the prescrip* 
tions in Frauds' draught that no Brother shall cast a stone 
at the sinner, that all shaU l^eep silent about his fault and help 
him, as they themselves will some time need to be helped, and 
that if it is only a venial sin (j>eccaium veniale), then shall 
nothing be said to him other than the word of Jesus to the 
sinful woman, ''Go and sin no more!" 

It often happened to Frauds that what he had written was 
erased or changed beyond all recognition. Thus the great 
reverence he had for the sacrament of the altar caused him 
to ordain that if the Brothers ever found a piece of paper on 
which the words of consecration of the mass, or even the 
word " God " or "Lord," was written lying in an inappropriate 
place, they should reverentially take up the paper and pre- 
serve it with reverence. This unceasing fine character of 
reverence, that could not bear to see holy words in wrong 
places, the leaders of the Brotherhood did not openly entrust 
to the Brothers — the reason given to Frauds was that it 
would be difficult for them to observe such a command! To 
him it was almost a real sorrow of the soul that the word of 
the gospel, which had once had so great an effect upon him 
and his first friends — the words which had spoken to him 
in the Mass of St. Matthias at Portiuncula, and which he had 
afterwards found in the Scripture with Bernard of Quintavalle 
— that the words "Take nolliing for your joiuney; neither 
staff, nor scrip, nor bread, nor money " were not to be allowed 
to stand in the Rule he was finally to give the Brethren. 
This was merdlessly omitted, and in spite of all Frauds' 
humility this was very hard for him to endiu-e. The line 
drawn through tiiese words of the gospel went like a sting 
through Frauds' heart; yes, he felt as if all that he had lived 
for, and for whose carrying into practice he had devoted his 
life, was now pronounced ajcobweb of the brain and an 
exaggerated theory, and byjthose who should stand closest 
to him and should be the onis to carry out his work. From 
this time to the end Frauds was, as his truest friend Leo 


has put it, a man deathly sick and marked for death, tfot 
prope mortem et graviier infirmabaksr.^ 

As in a great picture the later lq;ends have preserved the 
memories of the entire strife between Francis and his oppo- 

Francis — thus we are told in the Speculum perfectionis and 
by Conrad of Qffida — had betaken himself to the hermitage 
of Fonte Colombo in Rieti, there to give the last touches to 
the Rule of the Order with fasting and prayer, and he had 
chosen Brother Leo and Brother Bonizio as his companions. 

''And Francis was in a cave in the mountain side a stone's 
throw from the otheis, and what the Lord revealed to him in 
prayer, that he told them. And Brother Bonizio dictated 
and Brother Leo wrote. . . . 

"It happened that there was a great commotion among 
all the Brothers in Italy, because Francis was writing a new 
Rule, and the one minister ezdted the next. And all who 
were in Italy went to Brother Elias, who was then Vicar, and 
said to him: ' We have heard that Brother Francis is writing 
a new Rule, and we are afraid that it is too hard to be followed. 
For he is very strict with himself and could easily command 
things we cannot observe. Say this to him, thei^ore, before 
it is ratified by the Pope!' 

''Then Elias answered that he would not go alone to 
Francis, and they went together. And they came near to the 
place, and Brother Elias called out, 'The Lord be praised t' 
Then Francis came out and saw them and asked Brother 
Elias, ' What do these Brothers want? Have I not said that 
no one was to come here?' Brother EUas answered, 'It is 
all the ministers in Italy, who have heard that thou writest 

^Spec. paf,, cap. xx. See also cap. 3: "licet ministri adrent quod 
diim if|;u]am fiatres tenerentur sanctum evangelium obaervare nihilomiiiua 
lecenmt removeii de regula illud capitulum NikU UderiHs in wia,'* Cap. 6$: 
** Voluit etiam poni in regula quod ubicumque fxatres invenirent nomina DooudL 
. . . £t licet non acriberentur hasc in regula, quia miniatris non videbatur 
bonum, ut fraties Iubc baberent in mandatum." Cap. a: ''fedt pFV.] in icgula 
plura scribi, quae cum assidua oiatione et meditatione a Domino postulabat 
pio utilitate rdigionis, affirmans ea penitus ease secundum Dei voluntatem, 
fed poatquam ea ostendebat f ratribus videbantur eis gravia et importabilia. . . . 
Et nolebat contendere cum eis." Compare Cel., VUa secunda. III, xaa: "Hoe 
aane verbum vduit in regula ponete, aed buUatk) facta pnedunt." 


a new Rule, and now they say that thou shalt write it so that 
they can obey it, for if thou dost not do this, they will not 
bind themselves by it, and so thou canst write it for thyself 
and not for them!' 

"Then St. Francis lifted up his voice and cried out, 'O 
Lord, answer thou for me!' And then all heard the voice of 
Christ in the air, which said: brands, there is nothing in 
the Rule of thine but it is all mine, whatever it is, and I wish 
that the Rule shall be literally obeyed, literally, without 
interpretation, without interpretation, without interpretation! 
And whosoever will not obey it may leave the Order! ' Then 
St. Francis turned to the Brothers and said to them, 'Have 
you heard that? Have you heard that? Or shall it be said 
once more to you?' But the ministers went away terrified."^ 

This relation, which is also found in Ubertino of Casale, is 
evidently not intended to refer to the Rule ratified by the 
Pope in 1223. I reached this conclusion at the time (1903) 
I wrote about Fonte Colombo in my '^Pilgrimsbogen" C^The 
Pilgrim's Book"), and I argued hotly with Paul Sabatier in 
its introduction. The Rule, to wUch the above relation 
refers, and which Christ in apparition approved, is quite 
clearly an earlier Rule: that, namely, of which Bonaventure 
speaks in his biography, sa3dng that Brother Elias received 
it from Francis and soon after said that he had lost it} It was 
after this that, at a new residence at Monte Colombo, the Rule 

^Sptc. ^trf,y cap. X. Verba fr. Conradtf I (Sab., O^itfc., I, pp. 370-374). A 
deacriptioii of Fonte C^olombo, "the Frandscan Sinai/' is given in JOigenaen's 
"Pllgrixnsbogen" (Copenhagen, 1903), chapters VIII to X. 

'"Volens igitur confirmandam regulam ... ad compendiosiorem formam 
. . . redigere, in montem quendam cum duobus sodis . . . conscendit, ubi 
pane tantum contentus et aqua, ieiunans conscribi earn fedt, secundum quod 
oranti siIn divinus Spiritus suggerebat Quam cum de monte descendens, 
servandam suo vicario commississet, et ille pauds elapsis diebus, assereret per 
incuriam perditam." Leg. major, IV, 11. The whole description tallies with 
Spec. perf. and <Niginated with Brother Illuminato or possibly with Brother 
Leo himsdf. The Spec. perf. also says (cap. i) that "secunda regula, quam 
fedt B. Frandscus, perdita fuit." lliat Brother Elias was not particular in 
the means he adopted is seen from his most evident invention ("frater Helias 
dizerat, se fuisse receptum ad ordinem sub alia regula domini Innocentii non 
bullata; et ideo, quia . . . non voverat paupertatem (1) poterat redpere 
pecuniam, ut dicebaL" Anal. Prone., Ill, p. 231. On the preceding page is 
Elias' assertion that, in accordance with Frands' wish ''quam secreto didid,'* 
he built the basilica over his giuvel). 


was produced which Honorius III approved on November 
29, 1223, and which Francis wrote because he '^feared to 
irritate the Brothers and did not wish to contend with them, 
but with better knowledge he acceded to them and excused 
himself before God. And as for the word of the Lord which 
it was given hin to announce, that it might not remain 
without fruit, so would he live after it himself, and therein he 
found at last rest and comforted himself therewith." ^ 

The above is not to be understood as if the Rule approved 
by Rome was quite lacking in the Franciscan imprint. On 
the contrary, if we knew no other and had no suspicions 
of the changes it has imdergone, it would never occur to us 
that it was not the Rule written by Francis' own hand. In 
it we find the essential maxims characteristic of St. Francis -■ — 
first and foremost, in the very prologue, the obligation to 
"live after the gospel, in obedioice, poverty and chastity." 
And here and there in the twelve chapters, of which the 
Rule, in accordance with Francis' reverence for the Twelve 
Apostles, consists, are foimd a whole series of real Franciscan 
principles. Thus we may dte the absolute prohibition to 
accept money (cap. IV) and to own nothing (cap. VI), the 
command to work (cap.< V), without shame to ask for alms 
(cap. V) , to wear simple clothes, which it is allowed to patch 
with sackcloth and other rags (o^. II) without the Brothers 
in the pride of poverty daring to condemn those who dress in 
fine clothing and live in luxury and happiness (same chapter). 
As the Brothers wander through the world they should be 
mild, peaceful, modest, humble, friendly to all. They shall 
not contend among themselves and shall judge no one. When 
they enter a house their greeting shall be Pax huic domuiy 
"Peace be to this house," and what is put before them, in 
accordance with the gospel, they have permission to eat 
(cap. III). The Brothers must not preach if the Bishop of 
the place is opposed to it (cap. VI). They must not enter a 
nuns' convent (cap. XI). Those who are priests shall say 
their office after the custom of the Roman Chxurch, but 

^Spec. perf.f cap. 2. Especially is the expression to be noted: "conde- 
scendebat invitus voluntati eonim." Ftands was brought to this in oppoatxn 
to his chancier and principles. 


lay-brothers shall say the Pater nosier (cap. III). Those 
who cannot read shall preferably not try to learn to do so, 
but they shall recollect that what they before all came here 
for is to refrain from all pride, all vanity, all envy, all slander 
and complaining, all covetousness and all the troubles of the 
world, to have the ^irit of the Lord and do God's work, 
always to pray to Him out of a pure heart and preserve himul- 
ity and patience in persecutions and sickness, and to love them 
who hate us and torment us and sue us, for the Lord sajrs: 
'^Love your enemies and pray for them who persecute you 
and slander you. Blessed are you who suffer persecution 
for justice's sake, for yours is the kingdom of heaven. And 
he who endureth to the end shall be saved." (Cap. X.) 

Thus in spite of all, even to-day in the Rule of the Friars 
Minor there bums a flame of the holy fire Francis came to 
the world to kindle, and down through time the best and 
noblest among the Franciscans have devoted their lives to 
keeping this flame pure. Sine glossa^ sine glossa^ these words 
of Christ to Brother Elias at Fonte Colombo were their 
war-cry — "without interpretation, without change" they 
wished to live after the law which for them was "the book 
of life, the hope of salvation, the seed of the gospel, the way 
of the Cross, the state of perfection, the key of paradise, a 
first taste and an aspiration after the eternal life."^ Down 
through the centuries one form after the other is to be seen, 
in whom Francis seems to have again come to life — John 
of Parma, Hubert of Casale, Peter John OUvi, Angelo Clareno, 
Gentile of Spoleto, Paolo Trind, St. Bemardine of Siena, 
Matteo da Basd, Stefano Molina. Again and again crowds 
of barefoot Brothers gather around these men who in their 
coarse brown robes, with rope around their waists, go to the 
old hermitages where Francis and his first Brothers prayed, 
and where they can chant the old, half-forgotten chapters 
of the Rule as if it were a new and unheard song, telling 
them to "wander through the world as pilgrims and as 
strangers without other possessions here upon earth than the 
inalienable treasure of the most exalted poverty" (cap. VI). 

^ Spec, perf,, cap. 76. Written by an Umbrian Spiritual (i.e., a Franciscan 
of the strict observance. See Appendix, p. 390).. 



There is a tone of Portiuncula and Rivo Torto that over and 
over again exerts its great power, and like the Swiss sentinel 
who on Strassburgh's rampart heard the Kukreigen of his 
childhood's days sung across the Rhine, the Friars Minor 
cast all things away which might hinder them in swimming 
over the rapid stream to their fatherland and home. 




FRANCIS was last in Rome in the year 1223, to obtain 
the Papal ratification of his Rule, and Hugolin was 
helpful to him in this. ''When we still occupied a 
lower office we were with St. Francis when writing 
the Rule, and obtained the confirmation of it by the Holy 
See," he says himself in 1230 after he was Pope.^ 

During this visit Francis undoubtedly again visited '' Brother 
Jacoba/' Jacopa de Settesoli, who in 12 17 had become a 
widow. She was one of the two women with whose features, 
according to his own statement, he was acquainted (the other 
was St. Clara).* In her house he felt that he was welcome — 
it was his own Bethania, and Jacopa was Mary and Martha 
combined. She prepared for him the aliments he liked — 
among others the almond cream which he in his last sickness 
thought he would like to taste.* In return he gave her a 
legacy, which was exactly in his way of thought. He could 
never bear to see a lamb led to the slaughter-house; it re- 
minded him of Jesus, as he was taken to Golgotha, and he 

1 "quum ez kmga famOiaritste, quam idem confessor Nobisaim habuit, 
plenius noverimus intentionem ipsitis; et in condendo praedictam regulam 
obtinendo confirmationem ipsitis per Sedem Apostolicam sibi astiterimus, 
dum adhuc essemus in minori offido constituti." (Gregor DC's Bull Quo elon§ali 
of September 28, 1230 in Appendix to Sabatier's Spec, perf., pp. 315-316.) 

* Cd., VU, sec,, III, c. 55 (Amoni). 

' "niam autem comestionem vocant Romani mortariolum quae fit. de amyff- 
dalis et zucario et de aliis rebus." Spec. (ed. Sab.) p. 221. 

Sabatier identifies this favourite food of Francis with the well-known stone* 
hard Roman mostacdoli (see JOrgensen's "Pilgrimsbogen," p. 61). On the 
other side f. Edouard d'AIen^on: Pr^e Jacqueline, p. 19, n. 2; in mortariolum 
(in Old Frendi mortairol) he sees rather ''cette crime d'amandes bien connue 
aujourd'hui sous le nom de frangipane," a name in which he finds an allusion to 
Jacopa's name (her married name was Frangipani). 
x8 2S7 


always tried, when he could, to obtain its freedom. Thus 
he succeeded in the Mark of Ancona in getting a merchant to 
buy the lamb, with which he next presented himself before 
the Bishop of Osimo. It was only after long explanations 
that Frauds succeeded in making this prelate imderstand 
why he came in such a procession, and the lamb was then 
given to the Nuns of San Severino. Out of its wool a habit 
was made, which was sent to Francis at the next Pentecost 
Chapter.^ On another occasion Francis gave his doak as 
ransom for two small lambs which a peasant was carrying. 
'* For when Frauds heard the lambs bleating his heart was 
moved, and he went and caressed them and comforted them 
like a mother who comforts her crying child. And he said 
to the peasant, 'Why do you torment so my brothers the 
lambs?' But the peasant answered, 'I am going to market 
with them to sell them.' 'And then what will they do with 
them?' 'Those who buy them will slaughter and eat them I' 
'That will not soon happen,' said Frauds, and bought them 
straightway from the man."' At Portiuncula he long had a 
tame lamb which followed him everywhere, even into church, 
where its bleatings were mingled with the songs of the 

Also in the same wafy in Rome, Francis had procured a lamb 
for himsdf, which upon his departure he gave to Jacopa. 
In her house it lived long, and it is told that it followed her 
to mass in the morning and that, in its eagerness to go to 
church, it would wake its mistress with little friendly buttings 
of its head when she was late in getting up.^ Out of its wool 
Jacopa spun and wove the habit which, in the autumn of 
1226, she took with her to Portiuncula, and in which Francis 

It was not only the kind hospitality of Jacopu de Settesoli 
that Frauds shared, he was also guest among the Cardinals. 

» Cd., VUa prima, I, XXVIII, n. 78. 

* ibidem, n. 79. 

' "ovis autem . . . audiens fratres in choro cantare, et ipsa ecdesam 
jngrg^i^na . . . vocezxi balatus emittens ante altare Viiginis, Matris Agni, ac 
si earn salutare gestiret" (Bonav., VIII, 7). 

* Bonaventure, ibidem. 

* E. d'AIencon: Frire Jacqueline, p. 34. 


He followed in this respect his Brothers' example. Already 
at an early period of the development of the Order several 
Cardinals had wished to have a Friar Minor with them, ''not 
for the sake of any use or service, but for the devotion they 
nourished for the holiness of the Brothers."^ Thus Brother 
Giles lived for a time with Cardinal Nicholas Chiaramonti,* 
Brother Angdo Tancredi with Cardinal Leone Brancaleone.' 
It could be termed a pious custom at the Papal Court to 
have a Friar Minor in the house; Thomas of Celano censures 
sharply the idleness and life of luxury of these '' Court- 
Brothers. " * 

In Francis was lacking the material for such a Court-Brother 
{f rater palaHnus). In Hugolin's house he never forgot to go 
out and beg his food and to bring the bread thus acquired to 
the Cardinal's table.* And scarcely had he with the domesti- 
cated Brother Angelo installed himself with Cardinal Leo, 
where there was given them a lonely tower which the Cardinal 
said was as good as a hermitage, when the tormentors of the 
demon o^e on the first night and fell upon Francis. 

''But the next morning Francis said to Brother Angelo: 
'Why have the demons beaten me, and why has the Lord 
given them power over me? The demons are our Lord's 
chastisers, for as the civil authorities send their guastaldi * to 
punish those who have done wrong, thus does the Lord 
chastise and punish by his guastaldiy who are the devils, those 
whom he loves. For the Lord reaUy loves those for whom 
he leaves nothing impunished in this Ufe. 

'^ ' And I am now firmly of opinion, that with God's grace 
I have offended in nothing, without having done the utmost 
therefor to have my itijustice absolved and make it good 
again. But it may be that this pimishment is sent to me 

^"uDuaquique eorum" [*.«., cardinalium] " desiderabat habere in curia de 
ipsis fratribus non pro aliquo servitio recipiendo ab ipsis, sed propter aanctita- 
tem fratrum et devotionem qua fervebant ad eos" (Tres Socii, cap. XV, ed. 
Amoni, p. 8S). 

* See page log. 

* A. SS.j Oct. II, p. 60s, Q- 332- 

* Viia sec., II, 84 and 85 (d'Alen^n). 

* Spec, perf., cap. 23. Cel., VUa sec,, II, 43 (d'Al.). 
' A Lombard word, corrector or provost. 


because I have accepted the Cardinal's friendly invitation. 
For even if I can accept it, then my Brothers will hear of it, 
who wander in foreign lands and suffer hunger and many 
troubles, and my other Brothers who live in hermitages and 
in poor little huts will hear of it, too, and then they will com- 
plain about me perhaps and say, ''We have to suffer while 
he is in comfort! " For I am given to the Brothers for a good 
example, and it is of more edification to them if I am with 
them in their poor little houses, and they will bear their lot 
more patiently when they see that I have no better lot than 

On that very day Francis bade farewell to the Cardinal 
and his tower, and although it was a bitter cold December 
day, when the rain pours almost constantly down from the 
Roman sky, he was not to be held back. Porta Salara was 
soon behind him and Frands went to the north, on the miry 
road, in blasts of wind and teeming rain. Notwithstanding 
the grey sky and the rainy weather his heart was fiUed with 
sunlight all at once, and he involimtarily went ahead faster 
so as soon to see his dear valley of Rieti and again to be 
among the faithful Brothers in Fonte Colombo. 

And now another comfort awaited him above, among the 
wild Sabine Hills. 

Since his trip to the Holy Land and his visit to Bethlehem, 
Francis had a special devotion to the Christmas time. One 
year the festival fell on a Friday, and Brother Morico pro- 
potmded to the Brothers the opinion, that for that reason 
meat might not be eaten on Christmas day. '' If it is Christ- 
mas it is not Friday," replied Frands. ''If the walls could 
eat flesh, I would give them it to-day, but as they cannot, 
I will at least rub them over with it!" He often said of this 
day: ''If I knew the Emperor, I would ask him that all 
would be ordered on this day to throw out com to the birds, 
espedally to our sisters the larks, and that every one who has 

' Spec, perf.f cap. 67. Compare for Francis' relation to the demons Spec, 
Perf.y c. 59 (he was disturbed by them at night in the church of S. Pietro dl 
Bovara, near Trevi); Bartholi, cap. 8 {CdH,^ II, p. 18; in the church Quatuor 
Capdlae, outside of Todi, Francis was tempted to give up his life of penance); 
Actus, c. 31 (Frands saw that it was the devil who showed himself to Rufino 
in the fonn of Christ). 


a beast in the stable should give them a specially good feed 
ioT love of the Child Jesus bom in a manger. And this day 
the rich should feast all the poor." ^ 

In the year 1223 Francis himself celebrated Christmas in 
a way the world had never seen the match of. In Grecdo 
he had a friend and well-wisher, Messer John Vellita, who 
had given him and his Brothers a wood-grown cliff up above 
Grecdo, for them to live there. Frands now had this man 
called to Colombo and said to him: ''I want to cdebrate the 
holy Christmas night along with thee, and now listen, how I 
have thought it out for mjrself . In the woods by the doister 
thou wilt find a cave, and there thou mayest arrange a manger 
filled with hay. There must also be an ox and an ass, just 
as in Bethlehem. I want for once to celebrate seriously the 
coming of the Son of God upon earth and see with my own 
eyes how poor and miserable he wished to be for our sakes." 

John VeUita looked after all of Frands' wishes, and at 
midnight of Christmas eve the Brothers came together to 
cdebrate the festival of Christmas. All carried lighted 
torches, and aroimd the manger the Brothers stood with 
thdr candles, so that it was light as the day under the dark 
vaulting of the rocks. Mass was said over the manger as 
the altar, so that the Divine Child under the forms of bread 
and wine should himself come to the place, as bodily and 
discemibly he had been in the stable of Bethlehem. For 
a moment it seemed to John Vellita that he saw a real child 
lying in the manger, but as if dead or sleeping. Then Brother 
Francis stepped forward and took it lovingly in his arms, 
and the child smiled at Francis, and with his little hands 
stroked his bearded chin and his coarse grey habit. And 
yet this vision did not astonish Messer Giovanni Qohn). 
For Jesus had been dead or else asleep in many hearts, but 
Brother Frands had by his voice and his example again 
restored the Divine Child to life and awakened it from its 

As the Gospd was now sung, Frands stepped forward 
in his deacon's vestments. ''Deeply sighing, overcome by 
the fullness of his devotion, filled with a wonderful joy, the 

^ CeL, Viia sec., II, 151 (d'Al.). Spec, perf,, cap. 1x4. 


holy one of God stood by the manger," says Thomas of Celano.^ 
''And his voice, his strong voice, and glad voice, dear voice 
and ringing voice invited all to sedk the highest good." 

Brother Francis preached on the Child Jesus. ''With 
words that dripped with sweetness, he qpoke of the poor 
King who is bom in the night, and who is the Lord Jesus 
in the dty of David. And every time he would name the 
name of Jesus, the fire of his love overcame him, and he 
called him instead the Child from Bethlehem. And the 
word Bethlehem he said with a sound as if of a lamb that 
bleats, and when he had named the name of Jesus, he let his 
tongue glide over his lips as if to taste the sweetness this 
name had left there as it passed over them. The holy watch- 
night only ended late, and every one went with joy to his 

"But later the place where the manger stood was dedicated 
to the Lord for a temple, and over the manger an altar was 
erected to the honor of our blessed Father Francis, so that 
where the dumb animals formerly ate hay out of the manger, 
there men now receive the spotless lamb, our Lord Jesus 
Christ, for the salvation of their soul and body, he who in 
unq)eakable love gave his blood for the life of the world, 
and who with the Father and the Holy Ghost in eternal 
divine glory lives and niles for ever and ever. Amen." 

' VUa prima^ I, c. XXX. Compaie Tradaius de miracvlis, c m, n. 19. 



Corpus est cella nostra, et anima est 
eremita qui moratur intus in cella ad 
orandum Dominum et meditandum de 

The body is our edl, and the soul is a 
hermU who stays within in the cdl for 
paying to the Lord and for medilaUng 
on hitn, 

Francis in Specuhm perfecUoms, 


FOM tliis period to the day of his death Frands had 
two things to live for — to live himself in accordance 
with the gospel to the last degree of perfection and 
thus by his example to show the Brethren the right 
way, and next by new writings to supply what was wanting 
in the Rule approved by the Pope, and what he was not per- 
mitted to say in it. Those dasrs in which Francis, at first 
alone and then with a following of the Brothers, went about 
like an evangelist and one of God's singers, were past and gone; 
in the years which were left to him, he was to work with 
his pen and in private life. 

A considerable part of these his last years Frands spent 
in the valley of Rieti. This valley, traversed by the river 
Velino, stretches from Temi down towards Aquila, is bordered 
on the one side by the Sabine Hills, on the other by the mighty, 
doud-covered and snow-clad Abruzzi, and had been the scene 
of one of Frands' earliest mission journeys. Every one of 
the little towns which now as then hang on the mountain 
side or cover the mountain tops recalled to him the time 
before any of his illusions had vanished, and when he had 
still entertained the possibility of throwing a bridge across 
from heaven to earth to take all mankind with himself into 
paradise. He had now fully learned of what stuff men are 
made, and that some, as in the gospel, are taken up with 
thdr oxen, others with their crops, when the invitations go 
out for the great supper. But Francis knew also, what again 
is to be found in the gospel — that the master in the heavenly 
kingdom was enraged and said to his servants: ^^Go out 
quickly into the streets and lanes of the dty, and bring in 
hither the poor, and the feeble, and the blind . . . that 



my house may be filled!" With greater faith than ever 
Francis took up the precepts of the Sermon on the Mount: 
^* Blessed are the poor, Blessed are the peacemakers. Blessed 
are the pure of heart!" 

After this, when he spoke to his Brothers it was not as one 
having authority over them. He still can be disturbed by 
ministers and prelates who send his Brothers where he does 
not want them to go, and in the emotions of the moment he 
can break out: ''Who are you that have dared to take my 
Brothers away from me? " ^ But he depends on God and 
on His guastaldi; if the Friars Minor fall away from their 
ideal, men will despise them, yes, persecute them and thus 
drive them back into the right paths.* He himself is no 
longer obliged to do more than pray for the Brethren and 
by his example hold up the ideal before their eyes, so that 
no excuse can be offered for remissness. Can God well ask 
more of a sick man?* 

And this is the place to speak of Frauds' sickness or sick- 
nesses, as especially they afflicted him in the last years of his 
life. His health had, as we know, never been very good. 
We see him in his youth attacked by one fever after another. 
Since then his many and long fasts had undermined his con- 
stitution. Demons could drive him to the border of despair 
by saying to him, " There is salvation for every sinner, ex- 
cept for him who has ruined himself by excessive penances! "^ 
He seldom ate food that was prepared, and dusted it in such 
case by throwing ashes on it, saying, that ''Sister ashes was 
chaste." He slept but little, and then by choice sitting, or 
with a stone or log of wood for a pillow.^ In Carceri and 
later at La Vema his bed was the bare rock. After he had 
led this life for twenty years his body was all broken down; 
he had haemorrhages from the stomach and the Brothers 
often believed his end was near.^ 

To this must be added the misfortune, that Francis during 
his stay in the Orient had contracted the Egyptian eye- 
sickness, so that at times he was nearly blind. It was no 

^Spec. pcrf.t cap. 41. Cel., F. sec^ III, 18 (Amoni). 

•5^., c. 71. *Spec., c. 81. * Cel., Vita sec., II» c. 82 (d'AL). 

» Cel., V, pr., I, c. XIX. Bonav*, V, x. • Ccl., K. pr., II, VII, n. 105. 


wonder then, that in a letter, written in that year, he signs 
himself as homo caducuSy ''a decrepit man.'' ^ It was almost 
a matter of necessity for him to be restricted to an apos- 
tolate by letters in which his zeal for leading men to 
heaven fowid expression up to the last. In this last epoch 
of his life Frands sent out five letters or circular epistles — 
a letter to all Christians, a letter to a Pentecost Chapter at 
which he could not be present (1224), a letter to all clerics, a 
letter to all guardians (custodes) and a letter to all Superiors. 
To 'these must be added his testament, the testament to the 
Clares, and finally his religious poetry — above 1^ his Song 
to the Sun. To the same time we may certainly assign a 
little autograph writing or letter to Brother Leo. 
CBut now we must not expect to find in the letters of Francis 
of Assisi new and surprising thoughts. It was precisely the 
old thoughts he wished to inculcat e, i The letters, moreover, 
are addressed to various circles, so mat Francis had no rear 
son to avoid repetition. A careless reader will find the five 
letters, therefore, poor in ideas and tiring with their constant 
repetition of two or three topics, but — Boehmer remarks — 
''if one thinks of the personality that stood behind the words, 
the simple and unlearned man from Assisi in all his naivet6 
and abounding love, then do the dead words become loving 
flesh, and the poverty of spirit reveals itself as richness. 
For the little which Francis possessed was not learned or 
prepared, it filled and possessed him completely, and there- 
fore his words, notwithstanding all outer lack of elegance, 
acted on men with the power of a revelation." * 

If we read through these letters of Francis, we find in reality 
nothing else in them than what we already are familiar with 
in his Admonitiones and in his Regula prima^ and in his letter 
to Eliasi There are the same precepts to serve and love God, 
to live a life of conversion, to fast — also in metaphorical 
sense to fast from sin and crime' — to love and help our 
enemies, not to seek worldly wisdom or exalted positions, 
to pray much, to confess and approach the altar, to try to 

^ Ep. ad, cap. generate (B6hmer, ** Analeklen" p. 57). 

* " AnaUkten," 52-53. 

* "Debemus etiam jejunare et abstinere a vitiis et peccatis" (Anal., p. 5a). 


do good where we kave been doing evil. The last precept 
gave Francis a chance in one of his documents, in a letter we 
might call a contemplative epistle, to introduce a description 
of how a sinner dies (De infirmo qui male poenUei)} 

''The body sickens, death i^proaches," Francis writes. 
" The relatives and friends come and say, ' Prepare thy house ! ' 
And his wile and children, his nearest ones and his friends, act 
as if they wept. And the sick one looks around and sees 
them weep and is moved by a false emotion and thinks to 
himself, 'Yes, I will give over myself with soul and body and 
all that I have into your faithful hands!' Truly the man 
is damned, who gives his soul, his body and all he has, into 
such hands and depends upon them I Therefore the Lord 
says through the prophet, 'Cursed is he who depends upon 
a man!' And at once the priest is brought. And the priest 
says to him, 'Dost thou wish to do penance for all thy trans- 
gressions?' The sick man answers, 'Yes.' And the priest 
asks, 'Wilt thou give reparation to all whom thou hast 
defrauded and betrayed, as far as thou canst?' He answers 
'No.' And the priest says, 'Why not?' He answers, 
'Because I have given all to my family and to my friends.' 
And thereby he misses his goal, and dies without having done 
reparation for his injustice. But what all must know is this, 
that where and however a man dies in grievous sin without 
having made good his injustice, when he could have done it, 
but would not, such a soul the devil at once takes, and how 
great his sorrow and pain becomes no one knows, except he 
who experiences it. And all motion and all power, all knowl- 
edge and wisdom he thought he had, all that is taken away 
from him. And he leaves after him his property for Ysis 
family and his friends, and they take and divide it up among 
themselves and say thereafter, ' May his soul be cursed, that 
he has not earned more for us and left us more ! ' And thus 
he loses all in this world, and in the other is tormented in 
everlasting hell." 

There is in this picture a bitterness in the comprehension 
of mankind, that is elsewhere not to be found in Francis. 
It is no comfortable picture, he sketches, of these sdfisb 

' Bp. ad omms fidtkSy § 12 (Anal.^ pp. 55-56). 



nearest ones, " who stand around the bed of the dying man, 
and willingly let him go to hell, as long as they can get him 
to make a will in their favor. And when they have by 
their hypocritical emotions induced the man they pretend 
to love to end his unjust life with a last irreparable crime, 
they curse him, as soon as he has dosed his eyes on this life 
and has opened them in everlasting torments, because he has 
not scraped together more for their benefit. All through his 
life they have seen in him only a work-slave whose wages 
they were to get, indifferent whether they were justly or 
tmjustly earned. That he risked his eternal salvation to 
accumulate money enough, that never for a moment occurs to 
them — why should they think of that now in his last mo- 
ments? We feel as if we were reading one of Leo Tolstoy's 
most gripping novels — for example, the short story which is 
called, '^ Before the Judgment Seat of Death," and which 
treats of how Ivan lUtsch under his long last illness lay and 
discovered that he never had been loved, that his wife had 
never seen in him anything as far as she was concerned but 
a source of money for her and nothing else, and perceivM that 
his children were trained to the same, to regard him as the 
old man who was good to ^' touch," and who now unfortu- 
nately was ''going off." But more unfortunate than Ivan 
Ilitsch, the dying man of Francis of Assid's little tale does 
not get his eyes opened before it is too late — and too late 
for ever. 

In the letter to the Brethren assembled at the Chapter of 
Pentecost, 1224, in the letter to the clerics and to the guardians 
(Superiors of convents), Francis especially seeks to emphasize 
the precepts which had been omitted from the Rule. He 
exhorts the Brethren to great reverence for the sacrament of 
the altar; if a number of priests are together only one mass 
is to be said, which the others can be content at being present 
at; he says to pick up every piece of paper on which holy 
words may be and to preserve such with reverence; the 
Office is to be said with more regard to inner devotion than to "" 
melody of voice,^ the sacred vessels and the altar-cloths 

*"non attendentes melodiam vocis, sed oonaoDantiam mentis." CAnO' 
Ukim^* p. 6x.) 


should be kept shiningly dean, and the most holy sacrament 
should be preserved with reverence. And when it is offered 
on the altar in the mass, all shall kneel down, praise and 
glorify Grod, and the church bells are to be rung so that all 
near can participate in this giving of praise. 

"And I, Brotier Francis, your little servant, pray and be- 
seech you in charity, which is God himself, and with the 
desire to kiss your feet, that you with humility and charity 
accept these and other of the words of our Lord Jesus Christ 
and practise them and keep them perfectly. And they who 
cannot read, let them often have them read for them and have 
them with them and live after them to the end with holy 
actions, for these words are spirit and life. And whoso does 
not do this shall be called to account at the last day before 
the judgment seat of Christ. And all those who accept the 
word with joy and embrace it and live after it, an example to 
others, and persevere to the end, may they be blessed by 
God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen." ^ 

It seems to have been at this time that Francis conceived 
the idea of sending Brothers out to all the provinces with 
beautiful, bright ciboria (pyxides), and everywhere where 
they found the Lord's Body improperly preserved, they 
should give the priest of the place one of the new altar- vessels. 
Other Brothers he would send out with good, ornamented 
host-irons to make beautiful and pure altar-bread with.* 
It is certain, that none of these plans was widely carried out; 
yet in the convent of Grecdo a host-iron is to be found, which 
it is said was presented by Francis.* 

The letter to all authorities, namely, "all podest^, consuls, 
judges and rectors, " originated in Frands' anxiety to work 
also upon the commimity. Religion was for him no private 
affair — it was also an affair of the public at large. He 
therefore exhorts all those who are in authority not to forget 

* Ep. ad omnes fiddes in fine. (Bdhmer, pp. 56-57.) 

* Spec, perf.^ cap. 65. Cel., VUa sec.j II, c. 152 (d*Al.). 

* On page 29 is given a sketch of the design which is engraved on this iron. 
As I have often been told, the inscription isl HC("IHS, the three first 
letters of the Greek Jesus) except that the H is so separated by the engraving 
of the ornament, that it seems to be III C, which I (and with me the Fathets 
in Grecdo) would actually read as a number. 


in the presence of their manifold tasks tkt one thing needful. 
When death comes what is there left? As Verlaine was to 
sing seven hmidred years later — et puis, quand la mori 
viendra, que reste-P-4l? Therefore Francis exhorted all the 
mighty lords to approach the altar just like common men, 
and as power is for the present given to them, let them make 
a good use of it by means of a herald, or in some other way 
have a signal given, and when people hear that signal they 
shall all praise and glorify God.^ 

The letter to Brother Leo seems to have been written at 
the time when the indignation and grief over the many 
alterations and erasures in the Rule were still fresh both with 
him and the master. It is not written in nearly so care- 
fully labored a style as the great circular letters, in which 
possibly also Caesarius of Speier, who on June 11, 1223 was 
back from Germany, was a collaborator.* The whole letter 

'' Brother Leo, thy Brother Francis sends thee greeting and 

''I speak thus to you, my son, and as a mother, because all 
the words which we spoke upon the road I arrange in this 
word and advice, and in case thou hast to come to me for 
advice afterwards, for thus I do advise thee: In whatever 
way it seems ];)etter to thee to please the Lord God and follow 
in His steps and poverty, do so with the blessing of the Lord 
God and with my obedience. And, if it is necessary to thee 
on account of thy soul or of other consolation of thine, and 
thou desirest, Leo, to come to me, come."' 

^ '* Anaiektmf** p. 71. We can here see the germ of the later Franciscaa 
Angelus prayers. The General Chapter in Pisa (1263) ordered tai Ave Maria 
said when the evening bell rang (Anal. Fr., Ill, p. 329). In 1295 a Provincial 
Chapter for Padua, Venice, Verona, and Friaul ordered three Avcs to bt said 
at the same time of the day. (See C. A. Kneller: *'Zw GeschkkU des GebetslaO- 
tens** in the "Ztschr. f. kath. TheoL," 1904, pp. 394 ct seq.) — The letter to 
aU Superiors is found for the first time in Gonzaga (De orig, seraph, relig.^ 
(^. 806 et seq.) from a Spanish translation. 

s Jordanus, nn. 30-31 {Anal. Fr.,, I, p. iz). 

*"F. Leo F. Francisco ttio" [Italianism for: Frandscus tuus] "salutem et 
pacem. Ita dico tibi, fill mi, et sicut mater, quia omnia verba, quae dizimus 
in via, breviter in hoc verbo dispono et consHio, et si te post oportet propter 
consilium venire ad me, quia ita consilio tibi: In quocumque modo melius 
vtdetur tibi placere Domino Deo et sequi vestigia et paupertatem suam, ftudatis 


Frands gives evidently here a permission to Brother Leo 
of the same sort as the one he had given Caesarius. The 
plural niunber employed in the letter (JaciaHs) might indicate 
— as Sabatier thinks — that the permission was not only 
accorded to Leo but also to others of like mind. Strictly 
q)eaking, Francis could not do this, for the law-making power 
was no longer his, or not his alone. And it appears that he 
was not alwajrs clear in his mind about this; thus Ecdeston 
relates that Frands, after the Rule was established, sent out 
an order in virtue of which the Brethren, when they ate out- 
side of the convents, should not take more than three mouth- 
fuls so as not to irritate lay pec^le by showing too great an 
appetite.^ For more than one Brother Francis continued to 
be the real Head of the Order, and directly after his death 
the contention, that lasted for centuries, broke out between 
those who wished in accordance with the permission granted 
by the saint to follow the Rule literally,' and those who 
Whed to accept the leniendes granted by Rome. 

cum benedictione Domini Dei et mea obedientia. Et, si tibi est neoessarium 
propter animam tuam aut aUam consolatio&em tuam, et vis, Leo, venire ad 
me, veni.'' ('' AnaUkUi^*' pp. 6S-69.) 

In the rendering, two sentences, separated in the text but belonging in con- 
nection to each other, are put together. — The letter to Leo is preserved in 
the original and isfto be found since 1903 in the Dominican convent In Spcdeto. 
The photograph is in Falocd-Pulignani: Tre cuOofjrafi di S, Prancaco^ S. Maria 
dcgii Angdi, 1895, and in Misc, Franc,^ VI, pp. 33-39. 

' "Haec fuit autem prima constitutio, quam sanctus Frandscus fedt post 
regulam buUatam." Anal, Pr., I, p. 227. 

* Thus Angelo Oareno, who ''ezivit extra obedicntiam 0R&nis» ut regulam 
beat! Frsndsd servaret" (Bentardim Aqmlani Ckr4m., ed. Iicmmfni, Romae, 
1902, p. s). 


FRANCIS did not wish to preach by word only, but by 
actions above all. '' And all are to preach by their 
example/' he had already told the Brothers in his 
Rule, and was the first to follow this order. He was 
the same in his life as in his speech, says Thomas of 

The last years of his Ufe in Rieti show time and again fresh 
proofs of this species of honesty. In the days of Advent of 
1223 or 1224 he was once spendhig some time in a hermit cave 
at Poggio Bustone.' As his poor digestion did not permit 
him to eat anything that was prepared with oil, he had to 
have special food that was prepared with lard (lardo). Fran- 
cis personally accused himself of this infraction of the rules of 
Advent when he preached on Christmas Day to the people. 
"You are come hither," he at once said, "because you think 
that I am so pious and God-fearing. Therefore you must 
know that I in this fast have eaten food that was prepared 
with lard." 

It was a trait of the same kind when he, in the winter of 
1 220-1 22 1, during one of his frequent attacks of sickness, 
recuperated by eating a little meat-soup and boiled meat. 
He had hardly recovered when, after he had preached in the 
cathedral, he had himself dragged half-naked by his vicar, 
Peter of Cattani, with a rope aroimd his neck, down through 
the town to the pillory on the market-place. Before the 
thronging populace Francis confessed publicly his indulgence.* 

1 idem lingua et viu." Cel., F. sec., U, 93 (d'Al.). i^f. prtiNa, cap. XVII: 
Omnes tamen fratres operibus praedicent." 
9 xo miles north of Rieti. See jOigensen's "Pilgrimsbog/* cap. XIII. 
•"* Spec., cc. 6i-6a. CeL, V. sec., II, 93-94 (d'Al.). Bonav., VI, a. 

19 273 


Another time he was induced by the Brothers, also for the 
sake of his infirmity, to have a piece of skin sewed on the 
inside of his habit to warm his stomach. '^But sew also a 
piece on the outside," said Francis, ''so all can see that I am 
wearing furs!" 

''I do not want to be different in secret," he was wont to 
say, ''from what I am in public!" If he had been invited 
into any place and had eaten anything special, he told of it 
immediately to the Brothers when he returned. If, as he 
went through the streets of Assisi, he gave an alms and felt 
a certain selfish pleasure at having done something good, he 
confessed it at once to the Brother who accompanied him.^ 
In the image which he drew of the ideal General of the Order, 
he accordingly required' that this one should not eat good 
food in retirement, but must always let the Brothers see what 
came to his table.' 

Above all was he devoted to poverty. It is blessed to give 
alms, he declared, but it is blessed also to receive them. Bread 
that vas begged was "Angels' bread." The Brother who 
came home from begging should therefore come with song. 
Francis had constantly in his mouth the Psalms and texts 
of the gospels which praise poverty. When a Brother once 
in a hermitage had said to him, "I come from thy cell," 
Frands would not stay in it any longer. A house of hewed 
planks was too much for him, a hut of cane and mud was 
enough for him, but he liked best to live in caves like the foxes 
of the gospel (Matthew viii. 20). The stone house the 
citizens of Assisi had built down by Portiuncula he started to 
tear down, and had already got a part of the roof torn off 
when the podest^ sent down a protest to the effect that 
Francis thus was destroying the property of the commxmity. 
To provide to-day for the needs of to-morrow was something 
that might do for the well-to-do; therefore he commanded the 
Brothers not to put green vegetables in water in the evening 
to keep for the next day, just as they were not to collect more 
in alms than they could eat on the same day. To make his 
habit really poor in appearance he liked to have common 

* Spec,^ cc. 62-<53. Cd,, V, *«:., II, pp. 93-94 (d'AL). 

• Cd., F. sec., n, p. 308, L. 2^26 (d'AL). 


rags sewed upon it here and there. If he wanted a new 
one he would wait until he could beg one.^ The Brother 
who objected to going after alms was in danger of being 
called "Brother Drone," because he wanted to eat the 
honey in the combs, but did not want to fly out and 
gather it.* 

With all this striving after poverty, Francis could never 
jBnd that he and the Brothers were poor enough. "We 
ought to be ashamed of ourselves," said he when he encoun- 
tered a real ragged beggar; "we want to be called poor and to 
be celebrated all over the world for our poverty, and here we 
see one who is much poorer than we, but does not boast of 
it!" Such a beggar was sacred in the eyes of Francis, and he 
would not allow any Brother to speak ill of such or to insult 
their poverty. Francis the volimtary pauper willingly gave 
all he had to this the real pauper — his hood, a piece of his 
habit, even his breeches. "They properly belong to them," 
he declared, "and I would have to look upon myself as a thief 
if I kept their possessions from them ! " "Let us give back to 
our brother Poor-man what we have borrowed from him" 
was one of his regular expressions on such an occasion. When 
ans^thing was given to him, he always held himself ready to 
give it up to some one more in need of it. The Brothers thus 
often had their work cut out for them in keeping the dothea 
on their master's back, especially because he would not wear 
new clothes, but always insisted on having those which had 
already been worn. Sometimes one Brother would give half 
of his habit to Francis, and another the other half. Now and 
then the Brothers tried to get back his clothes from those to 
whom he had given them, but Francis discovered this and 
thereupon warned the beggar possessing them not to give 
them up without ample return in the shape of money. At 
Celle the Brothers had to buy back Francis' hood from an 
old woman.' 

> Spec, perf,t cc. 5, 14, 16, 7, 8, 9, 19. Cd., Vita sec., 11, cc. 26, 27, 29, 39, 40 
(d'A].). TracUUus de miracidis, V, n. 35. Bonav., Legenda major, VII, 2, 8. 

* Cd., VUa secwida, U, c. 45 (d'Al.). 

• Spec, perf., cc 29-31, 33-3S1 37- Cd., V. sec,, 11, cc. 5i-SS» 57, i43 (d'Al.). 
Booav., Vni, 5. 


He often had a special object in his ahns; thus when he 
in Colle near Perugia met a man he had formerly known 
and who now was reduced to poverty. In their conversation 
the poor man complained especially at having been unjustly 
treated by his master, towards whom he accordingly bore a 
bitter feeling. "I will give thee willingly my hood, if thou 
wilt forgive thy master his injustice/' said Francis. And the 
other's heart was moved; he forgot his hatred and was filled 
with the sweetness of God's spirit.* 

In Rieti Francis once discovered a poor woman who, like 
himself, had poor eyes; he helped her, not only with clothes, 
but also with a dozen loaves of bread.^ Another poor woman, 
who had two sons among the Brothers, came to Portiimcula 
and complained of her need. Francis gave her the New 
Testament which was used in the divine service, so that she 
coiild sell it. "I believe," said he, ''that the Lord will be 
better pleased that we thus help our mother than if we keep 
the book and let her go away without he^." By the title 
^'our mother" he designated every woman who had given 
the Order a son.* 

It was in Portiimcula that the altar was menaced with the 
loss of its ornaments. To get food for the many Brothers 
who now were joining the Order, Peter of Cattani proposed 
that the novices should no longer, as hitherto, give their prop- 
erty to the poor, but that a part should be made over to the 
Order. " By no means," answered Francis; " that is forbidden 
in our Rule I" ''What shall I do then?" asked the uncertain 
vicar. "Take the ornaments of the altar and sell them! It 
is better to have a bare altar and keep to the gospel than to 
have an ornamented one and depart therefrom!"^ 

Thus did Francis try to keep his path clear and to foUow 
the gospel in reality and not only in appearance. Nothing, 
therefore, could displease him more than when he thought 
the Brothers used the alms laboriously bagged in the name 

^Sp9C,,c,z2, CeL» F. 5«r.» n, 56 (d'Al.). CoDe is a little vilhge on the iwd 
from Assiai to Perugia just before the Ponte S. Giovanni b reached. 

* Spec., c 33. Cel., I, c. 11, 69. 

* Spec., c 38. Cd., n, sS. 

« Cd., V. see., n, 37 (d'Al.). Bonav., Vn, 4. Refd. seamd^ ca|>. IL 


of God in a way unbecoming to poor people. The celebrated 
Bishop Ketteler of Mayence once caught a family by sur- 
prise who used to receive much assistance from him, and who 
were eating roast goose and red wine. All the Bishop said 
was that he was glad to see that his gifts had given them 
a pleasant evening; Francis on such occasions was much 

It happened that on another Easter Day, in the convent 
at Greccio, the Brothers, in honor of the feast-day and of 
one of the ministers who had come as a guest, had covered 
the table with a cloth and had set out glasses instead of the 
tin cups. A little before midday Francis came along and 
saw the whole preparation; he quietly crept out, put on an 
old hat which a beggar had left after him, and with staff in 
hand knocked at the door just as the Brothers were taking 
their seats. His appealing voice was heard at the door: 
Per Vamor di messer domenedio^ faciaie dimosina a quisio 
povero ed infirmo peregrino I "For the love of God, give alms 
to this poor and infirm pilgrim I " 

On the Brothers' friendly invitation Francis entered. He 
sat down on the floor by the fireplace, had a dish of soup 
brought to him and a piece of bread, and began to eat. 
None of the Brothers said anything, and none could get 
down a mouthful — it was hard enough to sit there with 
that finely spread table while Frauds, like a male Cinderella, 
with his dish on his lap, crouched down in the comer. Soon 
Francis laid down his spoon and said to himself: "Now I 
am sitting as a Friar Minor ought to sit! But when I came 
in here and saw the fine spread upon the table, I did not 
think I was with poor members of the Order that had to 
go every day and beg their bread from door to door!" The 
Brothers could stand it now no longer; some of them began 
to weep, others rose and went to Francis as he sat there.^ 

On another occasion there was a similar scene. It was 
Christmas time; Francis sat at the table with his Brothers. 
One of them spoke of how poor the Child Jesus had been, and 
of how sad it must have been for Mary to have her child put 
in the stable, without a bed except the manger, with only hay 

1 Spec, paf,, c 20. Compare Cd., V, sec,, TL, 31 (d'AL) and Bonav., VII, q. 


and straw for pillow and mattress, with no warmth in the 
cold winter night other than the breathing of ox and ass upon 
the tender child. Francis sat in silence and listened until he 
suddenly burst out into lamentation, took his bread and sat 
down upon the cold floor of earth so as to eat there, where it 
was no better than it had been with Jesus and Mary.^ 

So unaccustomed did Francis become to any kind of com- 
fort that at last he felt it an annoyance rather than a satis- 
facti(Hi. Thus the Brothers in Grecdo, afte|: he had been 
burnt with a hot iron on the temples as a treatment for his 
eye sickness, induced him to use a pillow to rest his head 
on at night. The morning after Francis appeared and said: 
''Brothers, I have not been able to sleep for your pillow! 
Everything swam aroimd me, and the l^s tremble under me 
— I believe there is a devil in the pillow!'* He then ordered 
a Brother to take the pillow outside and throw it carefully 
behind him without looking after it.* 

This was not the first time Francis believed himself to be 
attacked by the powers of darkness. Of an evening, when he 
lingered in lonesome prayer in an empty church or in a cave, 
it would often seem to him as if some one was behind him, as 
if hurried, soft steps were stealing and moving around him, 
as if a horrid head looked over his shoulder and wanted to 
read with him out of his prayer book.* Then he would hear 
voices in the storms whistling through the mountain forests, 
the demons would laugh at him, while the owl screeched out- 
side his cell; but worst of all was the almost inaudible whisper- 
ing which, in the deathlike stillness of the hours of the night, 
would sound in Francis' ears, as if whispered by hateful and 
spiteful lips, ^'It is all in vain, Francis! Thou canst implore 
and pray all thou wishest — yet dost thou belong to met^* 
Then would Francis fight for his eternal life, and the Brothers 
who came in the morning to look after him found him pale 
and exhausted, wearied by the fight with the devouring powers 

» Cd., F. j«c., n, 151 (d'AL). 

* Spec, perf,, cap. 98. Cel., K. sec,, II, 54 (d'AL). 

' "In seio, cum dicebam completoriuin, sensi diabolum venire ad ceOam 
{Spec,, ed. Sab., p. 193). Spec., c 99. Cel., V, sec., II, 81 (d'Al.). Spec,, cc. 59Hkx 
Bonav., X, 3. 


of darkness. "I feel I am the greatest sinner that ever has 
existed/' he once said, after such a night, to Brother Padficus. 
But the King of Verse (Padficus) also saw in a dream the 
kingdom of heaven opened and the throne, whence Lucifer 
had been cast down, standing ready for Frands on account 
of his deep humility.^ 

^ Spec.^ ed. Sab., p. xzo. Bonav., VI, 6. 


FRANCIS^ with all these experiences in the spiritual life, 
was a good teacher and guide for his disciples. He 
taught them not to fear temptations. ''No one/' 
said he, ''ought to consider himself a true servant of 
God who is not tried by many temptations and trials. Temp- 
tations overcome are a sort of betrothal ring God gives the 
soul." On other occasions he tiuned back to his favorite 
conception of the demons as GodJs guastaldi (note 6, p. 259). 
"Brother Bernard of Quintavalle," he declared, "is visited by 
the most deceitful spirits of hell, who are trying to get him to 
fall like a star from heaven. Now he is oppressed and bowed 
down under their attack, but when death draws near the storm 
will cease and there will be a great peace." And so it hi^ 
pened. In the last days of his life Brother Bernard's soul 
was quite separated from earthly things, and he "snatched 
his food in the air like swallows," said Brother Giles. '^ And 
twenty or thirty days at a time he wandered by himself on 
the highest mountain tops and contemplated the things that 
are above." ^ut in his dying hour he said to the assembled 
Brothers, "Not for one thousand worlds as beautiful as this 
would I have served any other master than my Lord Jesus 
Christ," and beaming with very great gladness he went into 
the eternal fatherland of all the saints.^ 

Another of the early disciples, Brother Rufino, was attacked 
by great temptations. It was with him as with the master — 
" the old enemy whispered to his heart that he was not of the 
number of those who are destined to eternal life, and that aU 
he did was therefore in vain. " Yes, it even seemed to him 

1 CeL, V. sec., 11, 19 uid 83 (d'Al.). PiorM, capp. 6 and aS. 



that the Savioiir appeared to him and said: ''O Brother 
Rufino, why trouble Me with prayer and penance, since thou 
art not destined to eternal life? And believe thou Me, for I 
well know whom I have chosen and predestined! And this 
so-called Francis, son of Peter Bemardone, is also among the 
condemned, and all who follow him will suffer for ever in hell. 
Therefore seek no advice from him any more, and listen to him 
in nothing!" Then was Brother Rufino all dark of soul, and 
he lost all faith in and love for his hitherto trusted master, 
and sat dark and alone in his cell and would pray no longer 
nor go to the Brothers' divine service. What good was it aU 
— he looked for nothing else than the everlasting fire and the 
devil and his angels! 

It was in vain that Brother Masseo, at Francis' behest, took 
the message to Rufino to come. The imhappy man's answer 
soimded angry and short: ''What have I to do with Brother 
Francis?" Then Francis went personally to get Brother 
Rufino out of his dark cloud. ''And already at a distance 
Francis began to cry out, ' O Brother Rufino, thou miserable 
man, whom hast thou believed?' And he showed to him 
clearly that it was the devil and not Christ who had shown 
himself to him. But if the devil should again say to thee, 
'Thou art lost! ' then answer him qtdetly, 'Open thy mouth and 
I will blow into it!' And it will be a sign that it is the devil 
that when thou hast answered thus, he will fly away at once: 
And thou canst know by this that it has been the devil, 
because he has hardened thy heart against all good, which is 
precisely his doing, whilst Christ the Blessed One never hardens 
a living man's heart, but makes it tender, as he says by the 
mouth of the prophet: ' I will take thy heart of stone from thee 
and give thee a living heart instead!'" 

Then Brother Rufino saw how he had been deceived, and 
the heart softened in his breast, and he began to weep bitterly 
and cast himself down before Francis and once more gave 
himself into his master's care. Weeping but happy, strength* 
ened and comforted, he arose, and when the devil again 
showed himself to him in the likeness of Christ, he answered 
him courageously, as Francis had taught him. "Then the 
devil was so furious, that he at once went away with so great 


a blast and movement of the stones on Monte Subasio (for 
this happened up in Carceri) that they flew a long wa3rs, as 
one can see to-day. And while they were rolling down the 
ravines, they struck sparks, and Francis and the Brothers 
came out in alarm to see what was going on. But Christ 
blessed Brother Rufino and restored to him such a spiritual 
joy and sweetness and exaltation of soul that day after day 
he was out of himself and entranced in God. And from that 
same hour he was so fixed in grace and so sure of his everla^- 
ing salvation that he became another man, and if he could 
have obtained permission for it, he would have given himself 
up to prayer and meditation on the things which are above. 
Wherefore Francis used to say that Brother Rufino was sanc- 
tified by Christ during his actual life, and that, if only he him- 
self would not hear it, he, Francis, would not hesitate to call 
him St. Rufino, although he was yet living on the earth."* 

In this environment of his faithful Brothers, living and con- 
versing with them constantly, Francis forgot in the world - 
remote peace of Rieti all that was upon the other side of the 
mountains — the Brothers in Bologpa, the Brothers in Paris, 
the Brothers at the Curia and the Brothers at the University, 
the Brothers who were in all other places than just where 
Francis wanted them to be, and did all things differently than 
Francis wanted them to. As a counterpoise to it all Francis 
issued a letter On the Ideal Friar Minora a letter which was 
not carved out of the air, but in which he employs traits of 
character of all his most faithful disciples. "The perfect 
Friar Minor," said Francis, "must be as true to poverty as 
Bernard of Quintavalle, simple and pure as Leo, chaste as 
Angelo, intelligent and eloquent by nature as Masseo; he 
must have a mind fixed on high, like Giles; his prayer must 
be like that of Rufino, who always prays, and whether he 
wakes or sleeps, his mind is with God; he must be patient as 
Brother Juniper, strong in soul and body as John de Laudi- 

1 Pior.y c. 39. AduSf cc. 31 and 55. Anal. Franc*, III, pp. 48-53. Tlie word 
Francis taught Rufino to say to the devil is worse than what is given above 
(Apri la bocca meUdi coco ■■ ''Aperi os tuum et fadam intus faeces")* Com- 
pare a tale of how Francis cured a Brother of conscientious scruples, in Celano's 
ViUi secunda, II, c 87 (d'Alen^n). Compare II, c 6. 


bus, loving as Roger of Todi, and like Brother Luddus he 
must not settle in any place, for when Brother Luddus had 
been more than a month in one place, and foxmd that he 
was beginning to like it, then he would at once leave it, sajdng, 
'Our home is in heaven.' " * 

Francis rejoiced in being able also to count in this flock of 
the most faithful others than those who were nearest to him. 
Thus he once heard with great joy a priest returning from Spain 
speak of the Spanish Franciscans. ''Thy Brothers," said the 
traveller, "live there in a little hermitage and have so arranged 
things that one half of them spend the week taking care of the 
house, while the other half give their time to prater. The 
next week the two divisions change about. It so happened 
one day that the dinner bell rang, and that one of the Brothers 
did not come. As this was a day on which the food was 
imusually good, the others went in search of him. They foimd 
him prostrate, with face against the groimd, with arms extended 
like a cross, apparently lifeless, completely carried away in 
an ecstasy. The Brothers went silently away, and after some 
time the favored one came in. But as if nothing unusual 
had happened to him, he knelt down humbly and begged 
forgiveness because he came too late!" 

Such an occurrence was exactly in harmony with Francis' 
wishes. "I thank thee, O Lord," he cried out, "because thou 
hast given me such Brothers!" And as he turned towards 
the quarter of the heavens where Spain lay, he blessed with 
a great sign of the Cross his faithful and distant Brothers.' 

Such a pair of true Frandscans were also those two Brothers 
who had gone to the pains of traversing the long road to the 
other side of Grecdo to see Frauds. Now it had become so, 
in the last years of Francis' life, that when he had withdrawn 
from the other Brothers to pray in solitude, no one dared to 
approach him and disturb him, and the Brothers took care of 
any business that might present itself.' When the two pil- 
grims came, Francis had just gone, and it was uncertain when 

^Spec, perf,, c 85. 
« Cd., K. sec,, II, c. 13s (d'Al.). 

> Cd., F. pf., c. VI. Actus, IX» 38-31. Verba fr. Comadi, I, xx On Opuscules 
de cfUique, I, p. 373). 


he would come back. The strangers, who had no time to 
stay, were much cast down by this and said to each other: 
"TTus is on account of our sins! We are not worthy to be 
blessed by our father Frands!" As they were so unhappy 
over the affair, the other Brothers accompanied them on the 
road down from the convent, comforting them as well as they 
could. Suddenly a cry from above was heard — the road 
went zigzag down from the lofty caves where the Brothers 
lived, and as they turned around they saw Franci^ standing 
up in the entrance of his cell.^ The two strange Brothers 
fell upon their knees, and with faces turned to the master 
received the blessings he gave them, with a large, slow sign of 
the Cross.* 

In the various descriptions of his life are still preserved 
many a trait of Francis' fine feelings and tenderness for the 
Brotiiers and of his deep knowledge of the soiil. He under- 
stood others so well because he understood himself, and the 
Brothers often felt that he was reading their hearts. This 
was the case with one of his countrymen. Brother Leonard 
from Assisi. Weary of long walking, Francis had complied 
with the advice of a sympathizer and had moimted an ass 
and ridden a part of the way. Brother Leonard walked by 
his side and presumably was also tired; in any event he 
thought to himself, "Why should Peter Bemardone's son 
ride, whilst I, who am of much better ancestry, have to walk? ** 
How surprised he was when Francis stopped his steed, dis- 
moimted, and said as he did so, ''It is not becoming. Brother, 
that thou, who art of much better family than I, should walk, 
while I ride!'' Red in the face, Leonard resisted his unchari- 
table thoughts and helped Francis to mount again.* 

Against such and all other trials and temptations Francis 
over and over again advised his Brothers to use three remedies 
— the first was prayer, the second was obedience, such that 

' He lived "in cella ultima post cellain majorem," says Spec. perf. (cap. 98). 

« Cd., V. sec,, n, c. 16 (d'Al.). 

' Cel., V,, sec., TL, c. $. Compare same, cap. 2 (Francis sees throuf^ a Brother 
who under guise of holiness, to preserve complete silence, will not even write), 
and Adus, cap. 11 (Frauds reads in Masseo's heart that he is angry that th^ 
left Siena without paying the Bishop a farewell visit). Compare Boaav., 
Legenda major, XI, 8, xo, 13. 


one willingly did another's will, the third was the evangelical 
joy in the Lord, which drives away all evil and dark thoughts. 
In these three precepts Francis set the best example to his 
Brothers. Ever since he resigned the leadership of the Order 
he always had a Brother with him, whom he obeyed as 
his guardian. It mattered nothing to Frands who it was; 
he was as willing to obey the youngest novice in the Order as 
Brother Bernard or Brother Peter of Cattani. He was always 
pleased with his surroundings, and if anyone happened to do 
anything displeasing to him at any time, he would go apart 
and pray, until the natural irritation over the incident had 
subsided, and never spoke of it to anyone. ''Teach us to 
be perfectly obedient!" the Brothers a^ed him once. Then 
Francis answered: ''Take a corpse and bring it where thou 
wilt! It makes no resistance, does not change its attitude, 
does not wish to move. If thou placest it on a throne, it 
looks down and not up; if thou dressest it in purple, it appears 
only paler than before. It is so with the really obedient ; he 
never asks whither he is sent, he never is concerned as to 
how he came here, does not seek to be taken away. If he 
acquires honors, they only increase his humility, and the more 
he is praised, the more unworthy does he consider himself." ^ 
Francis wished to be like a corpse, subject, without resistance, 
to all, and his true Brother should follow him in this as in all 
other things. Per lo merito della santa ubbedienzay "by the 
merit of holy obedience," Frands once made Brother Bernard 
stamp upon his mouth in punishment for some evil thoughts 
he had nourished about him.* 

In one utterance of Frands this conception of his of obedi- 
ence attains an abnost Buddhistic character. "Holy obedi- 
ence," it says, "annihilates all will of the body and flesh and 
causes a body to be dead to itself and ready to obey the soul 
and to obey its neighbor, and makes a man subject to all men 
here in the world, and not only to all men, but also to all tame 
and wild beasts, so that they can do wUh kirn what they unit, 
as power for this is given them by the Lord.^^* This undeniably 

^ Spec,, cc. 46-48. Cel., V. sec., II, cc. 111-112 (d'Al.). 

' PiareUi, cap. 3. 

*Opuscula, p. 21. B^hxner, "Analektm,'' p. 65. 


reminds us of Sakyamuni's disciples, who let themselves be 
torn to pieces by tigers rather than resist the evil. And that 
this was not a momentary idea of Francis which found expres- 
sion in these words is seen in the tales of how he did not want 
to put out the fire that was burning his clothes, and of how 
he upbraided himself for having taken a skin away from 
"Brother Fire" which it wished to "eat!"i 

The first great means of bringing about peace for Francis 
was obedience, taken as the complete abandonment of all 
personal will, the perfect subjection to every command and 
every power. "If anyone strikes thee on one cheek, then 
offer him the other, and if anyone takes thy cloak from thee, 
then do not keep thy habit from him. . . . And if anyone 
takes thy property from thee, ask it not again from him. . . . 
Therefore if anyone comes to me and does not hate his own 
body, he cannot be my disciple. For he who will save his 
life shall lose it, but he who loses his life for my sake, he 
shall save it." * 

The other means of obtaining peace was prayer, constant 
and persevering prayer, prayers "without intermission." 
Frands himself, as Thomas of Celano says, was not one who 
now and then prayed, but "his whole being was changed to 
prayer " (non tarn arans quam oraHo foetus) . It was as if there 
was only a thin wall between him and eternity and he often, 
as it were, heard the sound of the eternal song of praise on the 
other side of the wall. In such moments he suddenly became 
silent, broke off the conversation, if he was with the Brothers, 
and covered his face with his hood or at the least with his 
hands. The disciples then would hear him sigh deeply and 
murmur something or other, they would see him also nod his 
head, as if he answered some one, and they would steal away. 
They knew that the master did not want to be noticed when 
he prayed; it is told that the Bishop of Assisi once lost his 
voice as punishment for surprising Francis at his prayers. 
Frands tried to conceal his piety as much as possible, got up 
in the morning as qidetly as possible before the others, so as to 
escape remark, and went out in the woods to be free from dis- 

^Spec. perf.f cap. 116-117. 

' Luke vi. 39-30; ziv. 26; ix. 24. 


turbance. Sometimes one of the Brothers stole out after him, 
and the curious one would sometimes see a great light, and 
in this light Christ, Mary and many angels would show them- 
selves and would talk with Brother Francis. When he at last 
came back from his prayers, there was never anything to 
notice about him, and he also used to say to his disciples: 
"When God's servant receives comfort from God in prayer, 
he should, before he ends his praying, lift up his eyes 
to heaven and with folded hands say to God, 'Lord, thou 
hast sent' thy comfort and sweetness from heaven to me an 
unworthy sinner; I give them back to thee again, that Thou 
mayest keep them for me I ' And when he then returns to the 
Brothers, he must show himself the same poor sinner he is 

Besides prayers in solitude Francis also used zealously 
prayers in common with others. In the Fiaretti we see him 
praying together with Brother Leo. In his letter to the 
Brothers assembled at the Pentecost Chapter he gives them 
rules for saying the prayers in their Breviaries.' In spite of 
his physical weakness he never was willing to lean against a 
wall or partition when he chanted the Psalms in company 
with the others. If he was travelling and it was time to pray, 
he stopped the requisite time; if on horseback, he dismounted. 
When, in December, 1223, he was on the journey home from 
Rome, he stood thus in a pouring rain and let himself get wet 
through, as he prayed from his Breviary to the end of the 
prescribed portion. '' Does not the soul need a quiet time for 
eating as well as the body?" he asked his companion, who 
remonstrated with him.' Once he had carved a little cup in 
his leisure moments, and when it was just finished it was time 
for saying the Tierce (the fourth of the canonical times of the 
day; it is said at nine o'clock in the morning). During the 
prayer his eyes wandered contentedly to the completed work; 
yes, so taken up with it was he tibat he hardly paid any 
attention to the Psalms he was saying. Suddenly he 
realized his ^distraction, and in his zeal he seized the beaker 

1 Cd., K. sec., Uf c. 61, cc. 65-66 (d'Al.). Pior,, c. 17. Adus, c DC, 32-51. 
*Opusc., p. 106. "Analekten," p. 61. 
* Cd., F. sec., n, 6i (d'Al.). Spec., c 94* 


that had taken his thoughts from God and threw it into the 

Prayer was thus something which he took seriously. Chris- 
tians are often profuse in promises to pray for each other — 
promises which are seldom kept. Francis was not like this. 
The abbot of the convent of St. Justin in Perugia had once 
recommended himself to Francis to be remembered in his 
prayers, when taking leave of him. Frands regarded this as 
more than a phrase; he had gone only a few steps when he 
said to his companion, ^'Let us pray for the abbot, as we 
promised him."* 

Above all, Francis loved to hear mass every day. When he 
was stopping in a town, this was easy to do; out in the hermit- 
age it was otherwise. It is a long road from Carceri down 
to Assisi or from Celle in to Cortona. For Francis it was 
certainly the best Christmas present he ever received when 
Honorius III, in December, 1224, permitted the Friars Minor 
to have their mass read out in their hermitage at an altar they 
could transport from place to place with them.' After this 
Francis had Brother Leo or Brother Benedict of Prato, who 
were both priests, say mass for him. When neither of these 
was there, he would have at least the gospel of the day read 
aloud; this one of the Brothers was glad to do just before 

» CeL, V, sec,, IT, 63 (d*Al.). Bonav., X, 6. 

* CeL, V, sec., II, 67 (d'Al.): "Mos enim iste semper (eQ fuit, ut orationeiii 
postulatus non post teigum projiceret, sed dto hujusmodi pramiasum impknt." 
Bonav., X, 5. 

* Such a portable altar consists of the altar-stone (xily, that can be placed on 
a suitable support, where it is to be used. Honorius Ill's penniasioQ was given 
December 3, 1224 (Sbar., I, p. 20. Potth., I» nr. 7325)* 

*Spec. perf. (ed. Sab.), p. i75> concerning Benedict of Prato. Compare in 
note 2, same page, the quotation from Brother Leo's words written in the Brevi- 
ary which had belonged to Francis and which b still preserved iu the church 
of Santa Chiara in Assisi: 

"Beatus Frandscus aoquisivit hoc brevtarium sodis suis fratri Angdo et 
fratri Leoni eoque tempore sanitatis suae voluit dicere semper offidum sicut in 
regula continetur, et tempore infirmitatis suae quum non poterat dicere volebat 
audire et hoc continuavit dvan vixit. Fedt etiam scribi hoc evangelistare at 
eo die quo non posset audire missam occasione infirmitatis vel alio aliquo mani- 
festo impedimento fadebat sibi legi evangdium quod eo die dioebatur in frHfwa, 
in missa, et hoc continuavit usque ad obitum suum. Diod[)at enim: 'Quum 
non audio misaam, adoro corpus Christi oculis mentis in oratione quemadmo- 


The third means for obtaining peace, which Francis pointed 
out to his disciples, was constant cheerfufaiess. 

"Let those who belong to the devil hang their heads — we 
ought to be glad and rejoice in the Lord/^ said he. Melan- 
choly was "the sin of Babylon," because it led back to the 
abandoned Babylon of the world. " When the soul is troubled, 
lonely and darkened, then it turns easily to the outer com- 
fort and to the empty enjoyments of the world." Therefore 
Frauds repeated over and over again the words of the 
Apostle: "Rejoice always!" He never wanted to see dark 
faces or sour visages — his Brothers should not be mournful 
hypocrites, but glad children of light. To those who asked 
how this was possible, he answered, "Spiritual joy arises 
from purity of the heart and perseverance in prayer!" Only 
sin and torpidity are able to extinguish or darken the light 
in the heart. "When the soul is cold," said Francis, "and 
gradually becomes untrue to grace, then it must be flesh 
and blood that are seeking their own! " ^ 

To keep free not only from every sin but from every 
blemish, from every trespass though ever so little, these were 
the conditions for living in the divine joy. The least grain 
of dust in the eye is enough to stop one from seeing the light. 
Francis taught his disciples to be on their guard against such 
grains of dust, and he especially warned them against confi- 
dential intercourse with women. When talking with persons 
of the opposite sex, he liked to look down on the earth or up 
into the sky, and when the conversation was too prolonged, 
he broke it off abruptly. At Bevagna he and a Brother were 
once entertained by a pair of pious women, a mother and her 
daughter, and Frauds in recompense had spoken some edify- 
ing words to them. "Why dost thou not look at the pious 

dum adoro quum video illud in misaa.' Audito vel lecto evangelio, beatus 
Fxandscus ex maxima reverentia Doznini osculabatur semper evangelium.'* 
Compare 5^. perf.,ca^, 117: "volebat (Frandscus) semper audire evange* 
fium quod in missa legebatur ilia die priuaquam oomederet, quando non posset 
audire miasam/' 

St Clara owned a Breviary written by Leo, which is still preserved in 
S. Damiano. See Aug. Cholat: Le Briviaire de Ste, Claire (P^usc. de critiquef II, 
pp. 31-96, Paris, 1904). 

^ CeL, K. sec,i n, cc. 39, 88, 91 (d'Ai.). Spec,, cc. 95-96. 



young girl who hangs upon every word from thy lips?" the 
Brother asked Francis, as they left the place. ''Why should 
one not be afraid to look upon the bride of Christ?" answered 
Francis. Every pious woman in Francis' eyes was the be- 
trothed of Christ, to whom he as the poor servant of Christ 
did not dare to lift his eyes.^ 

In recompense for this complete renunciation, Francis 
accepted also perfect joy. There were times and hours 
when there was a perfect song within his soul, and he would 
begin at last to hum the melody he heard within himself, 
hum it in French as in the old da3rs when he went out with 
Brother Giles to announce the goq>el. Clearer and dearer 
would the melody sound to him, and stronger and stronger 
did it rise in him — next he would snatch up a couple of 
pieces of wood or two boughs, place one to his chin as if it 
were a violin, and draw the other one across it as the bow is 
used in playing the violin. Louder and louder would he sing, 
more and more eagerly did he carry out his imitation playing 
whose melody none but himself could hear, while he rhyth- 
mically rocked his body back and forth with the time. Fi- 
nally his feelings would overcome him, and letting the violin 
and bow fall he would burst into scalding tears, and sink into 
his own soul as into a great wave.* 


^ Cd., F. sec., n, cc. 78, 80. Compare c. 81 (parable of the Two Pages, 
of whom one was bold enough to Uxk upon the king's brid<^ and for that was 
cast out of the castle). 

* Spec, perf., c. 93. Cd., V. sec., n, c. 90 (d'AL). 


DURING the siimmer of 1224 Francis' health seems 
to have improved, and in August he left Rieti. 
The goal of this journey was the mountain La 
Vema in Casentino, which had been given to him 
by Orlando dd Cattani in 12 13; he wished along with the 
most faithful Brothers — Leo, Angelo, Masseo, Silvestro, 
Illuminato — to celebrate the Assumption of the Blessed Vir- 
gin (August 15) and then to prepare himself by a forty days' 
fast for the feast of St. Michael (September 29). In common 
with the rest of the people of the Middle Ages, Francis nour- 
ished a special devotion to this Archangel, signifer sanctus 
MickaeliSy the standard-bearer of the Heavenly Host, and 
the one who with his trumpet was to wake the dead in their 
graves on the Last Day — " S jaele-Mikal " (Soul-Michael), 
as he is called for that reason in the old Norsk Draumkvaede.^ 
Inmiediately after having received the Alvema hill as a 
gftt, Francis had sent a couple of Brothers there to take 
possession of it. With the help of the Duke Orlando's people 
the Brothers had established themselves upon a plateau 
high up on the clifif, and had built some huts of clay and inter- 
woven branches, as Francis liked it; next the Duke Orlando 
built a little chiuxh which received the same name as the 

1 Cel., V. sec,, 149 (d'Al.). Compare Brother Leo in Francis' Blessing (Ap- 
pendix, pp. 347-348). "Beatus Francisois duobus annis ante mortem suam 
fedt quadrigesimam in loco Alveme ad honorem beate Virginis Marie matria 
Dti et beati Michaelis archangeli a festo assumpsionis sancte Marie virginis 
usque ad festum sancti Michaelis septembris." Besides this fast in honor 
of St. Michael, and the lenten fast, and the fast prescribed in the Rule of the 
Order from All Saints' Day to Christmas, Francis appears to have fasted forty 
days in honor of .Sts. Peter and Paul, ending with their feast-day, June 29, and 
finally in honor of Mary from June 29 to August 15 (Bonav., DC, 3. Com- 
pare Cd., V. sec., II, 150 (d'Al.), on Francis' devotion to the Blessed Virgin). 



Portiuncula chapel, namely, Santa Maria degli Angeli^ *^Out 
Lady of the Angels.'** 

During the trip to La Vema, Francis' strength again 
failed him, and the Brothers went into a farmyard to borrow 
an ass for their master. When the peasant heard who it 
was that wanted to use the beast, he came out himself. 
''Art thou the Brother Francis there is so much said about?" 
he asked. Receiving an affirmative answer, he added, ''Then 
take care that thou art as good in reality as they say, for 
there are many who have confidence in thee!" Stirred to 
his innermost depths, Francis cast himself down and kissed 
the peasant's feet in thanks for his reminder.' May it not 
have been the same peasant who himself undertook to guide 
Francis and the Brothers to La Vema? Whoever it was he 
was seized by an overwhelming thirst in the burning summer 
heat, and during the long hard ascent from the river Corsa- 
lone to the convent. When he complained of his thirst to 
Frauds, the latter kneeled down with him in prayer, and a 
moment after he was able to lead the peasant to a spring.' 

"But as now Francis and his Brethren climbed the moun- 
tain, and rested a little at the foot of an oak" — the FioreUi 
tell us — "there was at once a flock of the birds of heaven in 
the place, and greeted them with cheerful song and fluttering 
of their wings. And some rested on Frands' head, and others 
on his shoulders, and again others on his knees and hands. 
But when Francis saw this wonder, he said: 'I believe, 
dearest Brothers, that it is the pleasure of our Lord Jesus 
Christ that we establish a residence on this lonely mountain, 
where our sisters the birds rejoice so much over our coming.' 

"But when the Count Orlando heard that Brother Frands 
and his Friars were going to build on Mount Alvema, he was 
highly pleased over it, and the next day he went there with 
many from his castle, and they came and brought bread and 
wine and other things with them, to Francis and his Friars. 
And as he approached the place he foimd them praying, and 
he went up and greeted them. Then Francis arose and re- 
ceived Lord Orlando and his followers with great love and 

^ See page 105. * Cd., V. sec,, II, 103 (d'Al.). 
•Cel., V, sec,, H, 17 (d'Al.). 


joy, and they sat down to speak together. And after they 
had spoken together, and Brother Francis had thanked Count 
Orlando for the mountain he had given him, and had preached 
a little, the evening fell. And Lord Orlando took Francis 
and his Brethren aside and said to them : ' My dearest Broth- 
ers, it is not my intention that you shall sufFer from want on 
this wild mountain, and therefore I say to you once for all, 
that if you are in need of anything you shall only send a 
messenger to me after it, and if you do not do so I will be 
very angry about it.' And after he had said this he with- 
drew with his foUowers to his castle. 

'^ Francis then made the Friars sit down and determine 
how they were to live, and he especially impressed upon them 
the keeping of holy poverty in their hearts, and said to them: 
'Do not pay so much attention to Lord Orlando's friendly 
offering as to break the troth you have promised our Lady, 
the holy Poverty!' And after many beautiful and pious 
words about this thing, he concluded, saying: 'This is the 
way of life I lay upon you and myself. For as I see that my 
death approaches, I wish to be alone with God and lament 
my sins. And Brother Leo can bring me a little bread and a 
little water, as seems fit to him, but if anyone comes, answer 
for me, and let no one come to me ! ' And when he had said 
these words, he gave them his blessing and went to his hut^ 
which was under a great beech tree, and the Friars remained 
in their huts."* 

There are still shown by La Vema the places where St. 
Frauds stopped — the great overhanging stone, Sasso or 
Masso spko, under which he used to pray, the dark damp 
cave where he had his hard bed on a projecting shelf. Brother 
Leo's grotto high up on the moimtain side, where Francis 
many a morning in the early hours attended his friend's mass 
and prayed to the body and blood of our Lord in the 
white Host and golden chalice, lifted on high in Brother 
Leo's hand as the only comfort for poor pilgrims in this vale 
of tears. 

For again Francis seems to have become disquieted, troub- 
led, and bowed down with thoughts of the futiure. How was 

^ PioreUiy z* e 3* oonsiderazione delle sacre sante stiinmate. Actus, cap. DL 


it aU going to end? They had taken his Brothers, his sons, 
from him, and whither were they taking them now? They 
were going there where Francis did not wish them to go, and 
he had to look on without power. . . . 

In vain did Francis issue his Ideal Image of what a perfect 
Friar Minor, a perfect Provincial Minister, a perfect General 
of the Order, should be — he knew well that the facts were 
widely different. Brother Elias and others of his mind were 
not, as Francis would have it, satisfied with ''a book and an 
ink-horn and one pen and a signet," — they collected books and 
studied church law, and it was only waste of time to exhort 
them to act towards their Brothers in the spirit not in the 
letter of the law. Again and again might Francis sigh to 
God: ''Lord, I commit to thee the family thou hast given 
me — I cannot lead them any longer myself!" ^ But again 
and again the beautiful dream would return, that all was as 
in the old days, when nothing stood between him and his 
dear children, and they were imited in harmony again and 
were to be separated no more.' 

One day Francis awaked out of this his constant dream, 
and realized anew the truth, and had recourse to a method 
he had used before, to lift the edge of the veil that hides the 
future. He ordered Brother Leo to take the Book of Gospels 
and in honor of the Holy Trinity to open it in three places. 
Leo did as his master desired, and all three times it opened 
at the Passion of Christ. Then Francis understood that 
there was nothing for him but to suffer to the end, and that 
his days of good fortime were gone for ever. And he resigned 
himself to God's will. 

In the night which followed, Francis could not sleq>. 
In vain did he turn on his hard bed — in vain did he listen 
for the call of the Friars of La Vema, announcing the hour 
for saying matins. ''All will be as it should be in heaven," 

^"Domine, recommendo tibi familiam, quam dedisti mihil" Spx. perf,, 
c. 8i. ** Suffidant autem sibi pro se habitus et libeDus, pro aliis vero pennaiolus 
cum calamo et pugillari et sigillum. Non sit aggregator libronim." Cap. 8a 
Compare cc. 71 and 85, and also CeL, F. sec., II, cc. 139-140 (d*Al.). 

*"si secundum voluntatem meam fratres vellent ambulare . . . noHem 
quod alium ministrum haberent nisi me usque ad diem mortis meae/' Spec., 
p. 138. Cd., /.c., c. 141. 


Frands said to comfort himself; ''there, at least, there is 
eternal peace and happiness!" And with these thoughts he 
fell asleep. 

Then it seemed to him that an angel stood by his bed with 
violin and bow in hand. '' Francis/' said the shining denizen 
of heaven, "I will play for thee as we play before the throne 
of God in heaven." And the angel placed the violin to his 
chin and drew the bow across the strings a single time only. 
Then Brother Francis was filled with so great a joy, and Ws 
soul was filled with such living sweetness, that it was as if 
he had a body no longer, and knew of no secret sorrow. ''And 
if the angel had drawn the bow down across the strings again," 
thus Francis told his Brothers the next morning — "then 
would my soul have left my body from uncontrollable happi- 
ness." * 

After the Feast of the Assumption, Frands withdrew from 
the Brothers into still greater solitude. The place he had 
selected for himself was on the far side of a deep ravine, and 
to cross over to it, a felled tree-tnmk had to be used as a 
bridge over the abyss. Here Frands installed himself in a 
hut, and had made the arrangements with Brother Leo that 
he should visit him twice in the twenty-foiu: hours, once by 
day to bring bread and water, once by night at matins. As 
Lo) stepped upon the bridge he was to say aloud the words 
with which the redtation of the Breviary begins — the verse 
of the psalm, "O Lord, thou wilt open my lips" {Domine, 
labia mea aperies). If Frands from the other side gave the 
proper response: "And my mouth shall dedare Thy praise" 
(Ei OS meum annunHabit laudem tuam), then Leo was to go 
across the bridge and say the matins with Francis. But if 
he got no answer he was to go quietly home again. "But 
Frands said this because he was sometimes in such a state 
of rapture that he could not speak for a whole day, he was so 
occupied with God," says the Fioretii. 

For a while Brother Leo carried out his master's conmiands 

1 PiareUif 2^ e 3* consid. — Of a falcon whose scream used to wake Francis 
in the morning, see Cel., V. sec., 11, c. 127. When Francis was sick or tired, it 
there teUs us, the falcon noticed it and waked him at a later hour. Compare 
Celano, Tract, de mkactdis, IV, 35, and Bonav., VUI, xa 


for '^the pain of my Lord Jesus Christ!" And so greats so 
real was his unhappiness, that even the other began to weep. 

To honor the Cross was the object of the prayer Francis 
had prescribed for his Brothers. "We pray to thee, O Lord, 
and praise thee, because with thy Holy Cross thou hast 
redeemed the world!" And he would never permit the 
Brothers to step upon two straws or two twigs that were 
lying across each other. 

And the others thought of him under the symbolism of the 
Cross. Silvester dreamt that a cross of gold went out of the 
mouth of Brother Francis and over the world, and Brother 
Padficus saw him in a dream in the form of a cross pierced 
by two swords. Leo once saw a great gilded cross going in 
front of Frauds.^ 

Li the Mass of the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy 
Cross it is as if places in the Liturgy were given for all the 
words of the Chiurch and gospel referring to the Cross. "This 
sign of the Cross," it says, "shall stand in heaven when the 
Lord comes to judgment." Or, in the words of Paul: "We 
should be glorified in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, in 
whom is our salvation, life, and resurrection." Or the fol- 
lowing: "Christ, our Saviour, who saved Peter on the sea, 
save us, have mercy on us by the power of thy Cross." 
"Thou strong Cross, thou noble Cross, nobler than all the 
trees, no woods produce thy equal, a tree with such leaves 
and flowers," is in a hymn for that day. And again about 
the Cross, to the Cross: "Thou art fairer than the cedars of 
Lebanon, thou art the tree of life in the middle of the garden 
of paradise." "Behold the Cross of the Lord! Let all its 
enemies fly! The Lion of Judah's stem hath conquered, 

Penetrated by all these strong words, Francis lay in prayer 
outside his cell on the morning of the fourteenth of September. 
It was not yet day, but whUe awaiting the sunrise he prayed, 
with face turned to the east, with hands upraised and extended 

"O Lord Jesus Christ, two favors I beg of thee before I 

> Adus, cap. 38. Compare Verba fr. Conradi (Opusc, de cHUque, I, ppi 


From the Jrisco allribuied lo Cimabut at Assist 


die. The first is, that I may, as far as it is possible, feel in 
my soiil and in my body the suffering which thou, O gentle 
Jesus, sustained in thy bitter i>assion. And the second 
favor is, that I, as far as it is possible, may receive into my 
heart that excessive charity by which thou, the Son of God, 
wast inflamed, and which actuated thee willingly to suffer 
so much for us sinners." 

"And as he long prayed thus," says the old story, "he felt 
a certainty that God would vouchsafe him these two things, 
and that it would be given him to receive both parts, so far as 
it was possible for a creature. And after he had received 
this promise, he began with great devotion to meditate on 
the sufferings of Christ and on the boundless charity of Christ, 
and the glow of piety grew so strong in him, that with charity 
and pity he was all transformed to Jesus. 

"And as he lay in this prayer and burned with this flame, 
behold, it came to pass that he in the same morning hour saw 
a seraph coming down from heaven with six luminous wings. 
And the seraph slowly approached Frands, so that he could 
discern and clearly see that it bore an image of a crucified 
man, and its wings were so placed that two were raised over 
the head, two were extended for flight, and with two it cov- 
ered its body. 

"But when Francis saw this vision he was much frightened', 
and at the same time he was filled with joy and sorrow and 
wonder. For he had great joy in the gentle Jesus who 
showed Himself to him so intimately and looked so lovingly 
upon him, but it gave him inexpressible sorrow to see the 
Lord fastened to the Cross. And, moreover, he wondered 
over so imusual and astonishing a vision, for he knew that 
mortal suffering is not compatible with a seraph's immortal 
spirit. But as he wondered thus, it was revealed to him by 
the one before him that this vision by a special provision of 
God was granted him that he should understand that it was 
not by bodily martyrdom, but through an inner flame, that 
he should be transformed entirely into the likeness of Christ 
the Crucified. 

" But now after the wonderful vision had finally disappeared, 
an excessive glow was left in Francis' heart, and a living love 


of God, and in his body the vision left a wonderful image and 
imprint of Christ's sufferings. For at once in his hands and 
feet marks like nails began to appear, so that they seemed 
perforated in the middle, and the heads of the nails were 
within the pahns of the hands and on the top of the f eet, and 
the points of the nails were on the backs of the hands and 
under the feet, and they were bent over, so that there was 
space between the flesh and points of the nails for a finger, 
as if in a ring, and the nails had a round, black head. And 
so in his left side the image of a lance-thrust appeared, with- 
out cicatrice, but red and bleeding, out of which blood often 
issued from Brother Francis' breast and saturated his habit 
and clothes. 

''But Francis said nothing of this to the Brothers, but hid 
his hands, and he coiild not put the soles of his feet to the 
earth any more. And the Brothers found that his habit and 
clothes were bloody when they went to the wash, and then 
they understood that he bore the image and likeness of oiur 
Lord Jesus Christ the Crucified in his side and likewise on 
his hands and feet." ^ 

^ PioreUif 5* oonsiderazione. I use this late authority as I think that it is 
essentially based on what Leo, Masseo, Angelo, and the other Brothers have 
imparted either in writing or orally. We know from Ecdeston that Brother 
Leo willingly told the younger Brothers in the Order about the stigmatization — 
see Anal. Franc., I, p. 245. It is impossible to doubt that he had also among his 
rotuli several relating to the event at La Vema; some of these have appeared 
as part of the Actus heaii Prandsci (c. DC, c. XXXDC). Moreover, we possess 
directly from Leo's hand the most authentic testimony of Frands' stigmatiza- 
tion — his remarks on the blessing Francis wrote and gave him at La Vena 
(see Appendix, p. 347). The description of the stigmatization in Thomas 6i 
Celano's Vita prima, 11, c. Ill, and in the Mirac. Urai., c. II, n. 4, presents, in 
spite of the much shorter form, an uxmiistakable resemblance to the rdatkm 
in the Fioretti, and this is not surprising when we recollect that Celano always 
worked in company of Leo and the other confidential friends of Frands. (Ap- 
pendix, pp. 352, 368-369.) Compare Bonaventure, XIII, 3, where essentially 
the same relation is found. 

Since the appearance of Sabatier's defence of the stigmatization of Francis 
{Vie de S. Fr., pp. 401-412) the general view among historians has been turned 
In the direction of accepting it. Of Karl Hampe's attempt to separate the 
stigmatization from the vision of the seraph on Mount Alverna and to transfer 
it to a time no more exactly stated shortly before Frands' death, something 
will be found said in the Appendix. Hampe's artide (**Die Wundmale des U. 
From V. AsnstT) appeared in the ''Historisches Zdtschrift," 1906, pp. 385-402. 


FRANCIS could not long keep the wonder a secret that 
had come to him. For one thing he was in the midst of 
a circle of inspired and devoted friends whose central 
object he inevitably was, and who were constantly 
occupied with him. On the other hand, the miracle caused 
him such great pain and made his existence so difficult, that 
he had to have recourse to the assistance of others. Probably 
Leo was the first one he initiated into the secret. That 
Francis might be able to move his hands and feet, bandages 
had to be woimd around the projecting parts of the nails. 
Leo shifted these bandages daily, except — as it is said — 
from Thursday afternoon to Saturday morning, because Fran- 
cis wished to suffer with Christ. Brother Rufino, too, who 
washed for the master, foimd out all about the mystery^ 
when he fotmd the left side of the clothes saturated with the 
blood from the wound in the side. It was later that he, by 
a trick,, managed to touch and see this woimd.^ 

Of the state of Frands' soul, after he had received the 
woimdS; it is hard to form a conception. From now on he is 
so high above ordinary mankind, that the best we can do — 
like Brother Leo, who often thought he saw the master float- 
ing among the tree-tops — is to cast ourselves down, kiss 

> ActtiSf cc. 39 and 34. Cel., V. sec., II, cc. 98-100. Thomas of Celano says 
here explicitly of Rufino: "Hie solus vidit in vita, caeterorum nullus usque 
post mortem" (d'Alen^on's ed., p. 274). It cannot, therefore, be regarded as 
a deceit of Brother Elias of Cortona, that Brother Thomas gave credence to, 
when we find in the VUa pritna (II, c. Ill, n. 95) : "felix Helias, qui dum viveret 
sanctus, utcumque iUud videre meruit; sed non minus fdix Rufinus" etc. 
Brother Pacificus by a trick managed to let a friar from Brescia see the 
stigmata in the hands. (Cel., K. sec,, II, cap. 99, d'Al.) 



the dust once trod by the blessed one's feet, and ejaailate 
with the faithful disciple: ''God be merdful to my sins and 
let me by the intercession of this holy man find pity with 

The first effect of the stigmatization seems to have been a 
great joy, a complete liberation from all care and dejection. 
This feeling of inner happiness refound was what gave itself 
voice in the Song of Praise Francis wrote immediately after 
he had received the wounds, ''in thanks for the grace that 
had befallen him."^ In its entirety the Laud reads thus: 

"Thou art holy, Lord God. Thou art the God of Gods, 
who alone doest wonderful things. Thou art strong, thou 
art great, thou art most high, thou art omnipotent, thou 
art Holy Father, the King of heaven and earth. Thou art 
three in one, one Lord God of Gods. Thou art goodness, all 
goodness, the greatest goodness, living and true Lord God. 
Thou art charity, thou art wisdom, thou art hiunility, 
thou art patience, thou art beauty, thou art security, thou 
art quietude, thou art joy, thou art our hope, thou art 
justice . . . and temperance. . . . Thou art all our riches 
to satiety. . . . Thou art gentleness. . . . Thou art the 
protector, thou art the guardian and defender. . . . Thou 
art our refuge and strength. Thou art our faith, hope and 
charity. Thou art our great sweetness. Thou art infinite 
goodness, great and admirable Lord God Almighty, pious and 
merciful and Saviour."* 

At this very time when Francis felt himself raised to the 
highest simunits of Christian joy, and like Moses on Nebo, 
already saw the promised land afar off, his best friend was the 

^"'Deus, propitius esto mihi peccatori et, per merita hujus sanctisami 
viri, fac me tuam sanctissimam miaericordiam inveniie.' Quum tantum 
elevatum aspiceret quod ipsum tangere non valebat, se sub sancto Frandsco 
prosteraens, orationem [talem] fadebat [fr. Leo]." AUus, c. 39, 6-7. 

* "propter visionem et allocutionem seraphym et impressionem stigmatum 
Christ] in corpore suo fedt has laudes . . . et manu sua scripsitf gratias agens 
Domino de benefido sibi coUato." Brother Leo's testimony ooncemtnK 
Frauds' blessing given to him. See Appendix, pp. 347-348. 

* For the Latin text see Appendix, p. 349, n. i. I also refer to Falod- 
Pulignani's monograph: Tre Autografi di S. Francesco (S. Maria degli Angeli^ 


object of a great temptation, — not of bodily, but of spiritual 
kind, we are told by the authorities without any further 
enlightenment. Was Brother Leo perhaps tempted by a feel- 
ing of envy of the master? Did he feel jealous and dis- 
quieted in seeing his friend penetrate into regions where he 
could not follow him? In any case he seems to have sought 
for a proof that he was not forgcftten, an assurance that the 
old relations, in spite of the wonder that had happened to 
Frands, were still as strong as ever. Leo thought of the times 
when Francis wrote to him in such a friendly manner, and 
every one who knows what effect a dear and well-known 
handwriting on a letter can have, will understand Brother 
Leo's longing to have something from Frands' hand. He 
was to be seen every day, but what good was that, when it 
seemed as if the old-time friendship between them was no 
longer in existence? 

With his usual delicate perception Frands seems to have 
known what was troubling his friend's spirit. One day there- 
fore he caUed for Leo, and bade him bring parchment, pen and 
ink. While Leo in expectation stood by his side, Francis 
wrote down first the Song of Praise given above, then turned 
the sheet over and inscribed upon the back in large letters 
the Patriarchal Benediction from the Old Testament: 

"The Lord bless thee, and keep thee. The Lord show 
his face to thee, and have mercy on thee. The Lord turn 
his coimtenance to thee, and give thee peace!" 

For a moment Frands paused — then he finally added, 
"The Lord bless — Brother Leo — thee!" And instead of 
his name he put beneath the whole the Old Testament symbol 
of the Cross, T (Thau), erected on Golgotha over a himian 
skull as emblem of death conquered by Christ. 

With glance and smile both charged with goodness, Frands 
handed the inscribed parchment to Brother Leo. "Take 
this," he said, " and keep it with thee to the day of thy death ! " 
Then all of Brother Leo's evil thoughts left him, and with 
tears in his eyes he seized the pledge of inviolable friendship 
which the master gave him. Even until he became an old 
man — Leo died in 1271 — he carried next to his heart this 
parchment from La Vema, and after his death it went as an 


inheritance to the Franciscan Church in Assisi, where it is to 
the present day preserved in the sacristy.^ 

On the thirtieth of September, Francis with Brother Leo 
left Mount Alvema. Duke Orlando had sent an ass on which 
the stigmatized one who could not use his feet was to make 
the journey. Francis heard mass early in the morning with 
his Brothers in the little chapel, and gave them a last 
admonition. Then he took leave of each one in turn — of 
Masseo, Angelo, Silvestro, Bluminato. ''Live in peace, 
dearest sons, and farewell! My body is to be separated from 
you, but my heart remains with you ! I go forth with Brother 
Little Lamb of God to Portiuncula, and I come back here 
no more! Farewell, sacred mountain: farewell, Mount Al- 
vema: farewell, thou Angel moimtain! Farewell, dearest 
Brother Falcon, who used to wake me with thy screams, 
thanks for thy care of me! Farewell, thou great stone, be- 
neath which I used to pray; thee I shall see no more! Fare- 
well, Santa Maria's Churdi — to thee, mother of the Eternal 
Word, I commend these my sons!" Whilst the Brothers 
who remained behind broke into lamentations, Francis went 
forth for the last time from the mountain, where so great a 
thing had befallen him.* 

Francis rode to Borgo San Sepolcro; after he had taken 
leave of Duke Orlando m the neighboring town of Chiusi he 

^ Cel., V. sec., 11, c. XX. Bonav., XI, 9. — The words of the blessing are 
taken from Numbers vi. 24-26. On the letter Thau see Esechiel ix. 4. On 
Francis of Asstsi's use of the same see Bonav., IV, 9, and Cd. Trad, de 
miraculis, c. II, n. 3. 

* I quote here the Addio di S. Francesco aUa Vema, said to have been written 
by Brother Masseo. All internal evidence points to the authenticity of the 
document, but the copy of it, found in the so-called Capetta delP Ascemsiaite^ 
and which is the only existing manuscript, dates only from the sixteenth century. 
It is a parchment 27 x 13 cm. (10.8 x 5.2 in.) and begins: JPax XPI. Giesu 
Md speranza mia. fra Masseo peccaiore indigno servo di Giesu XPO Compagno di 
fra Francesco da Assist kuomo a Dio gratissimo, and ends: lo fra Masseo ko 
scriUo tutto. Dio d benedica. Sabatier, who did not know of this document, 
heard it spoken of as an original autograph (JSpec. perf.y pp. 303-304); he gives 
a copy not differing more than the above and following the oldest printed copy 
(of 1710), ditto, pp. 305-308; the concluding words are worthy of notioe: ''lo 
fr. Masseo ho scritto con lagfime" which indicates that the words were written 
under the influence of Frands' recent departure. V Addio di S. Francesco is 
also found printed in Amoni's Italian translation of Cdano's Viia Mtnntftf, 
Rome, 1880, pp. 314-315, without statement of the source. 


crossed the River Rasina, followed by Brother Leo, and took 
the road over Mount Arcoppe, Mount Foresto and Moimt 
Casella. He stopped on the top of Mount Casella, whence 
the last view of La Vema is to be had, and he dismounted 
and knelt down. And with his glance directed to the distant 
La Vema, that far away lifted its ridge up under the heavy 
autumn clouds, he made the sign of the Cross over it and broke 
out into a last farewell, a last thanksgiving and a last blessing. 

"Farewell, thou mountain of God, thou holy mountain, 
Mons coagulaiuSf mons pinguiSy mans in quo bene placitum esi 
Deo habitare! Farewell, Mount Alvema — God the Father, 
God the Son, God the Holy Ghost, bless thee! Live in peace, 
but I shall never see thee more!" * 

Francis then mounted his placid steed and rode down to 
Monte Casella. He was absorbed in his thoughts for the 
rest of the journey, so that he passed through Borgo San 
Sepolcro without knowing it; the town was already behind 
them when he awoke from his revery and asked if they were 
yet near Borgo.* 

The journey became a triimiphal procession. The populace 
met Francis everywhere with olive boughs and the cry 
Ecco U Saniol "Here comes the Saint!" He had to give 
his hand to be kissed, and miracles were wrought by him; 
yes, a woman who lay in agony and whose life was in danger 
was cured by laying the bridle of the ass upon her, the same 
he had held in his hands.' From Citt^ di Castello, where 
Francis stopped a whole month, and where he among other 
things by a simple command 'Ciu'ed a woman who was raving 
with hysterics, he went at last to Portiimcula. It was now 
November, 1224, and the snow in the Apennines was already 
deep. And now it happened that Francis, Brother Leo and 
the peasant who had lent them the ass, one evening could 
find no human habitation, but had to spend the night in the 
motmtains. The snow gathered in drifts and they had only 

* Amoni's work named above, p. 315. In La Vema these words are to be 
found in a manuscript dated September 30 (also anniversary of the depar* 
ture), 1818. 

« Cel., Vita sec., II, c. 64 (d'AL). 

* PicfM, 4» considerazione. Cel., VUa primal I, c XXII, n. 63. Compare 
tlie quite similar mirade in the succeeding parBgr^>h (64). 



a projecting rock to take shelter under. For the two Brothers 
this was not so bad, but the peasant cursed and scolded — 
this was the reward for his foolish kindness; he might have 
remained at home and now be lying in his comfortable bed, 
etc., etc. Francis managed at last to quiet and calm the 
angry man, and when morning came the peasant announced 
himself quite satisfied, that he never had slept better than out 
here among the rocks and drifts of snow.^ 

Scarcely was Francis back at Portiuncula when he went 
out at once on a missionary trip. It seems as if all of the 
zeal of his youth was retxuned; he talked anew of wanting 
to do great things.* For a while it seemed to him that it 
was not too late to begin all over again. "I will go to the 
lepers again and serve them and be despised of all men,'' 
said he.* Riding on his ass, he often visited in one day four 
or five towns and preached in them;^ and where he found 
lepers he waited on them. The story in the FioreUi certainly 
belongs to this period, which tells of the impatient kper 
patient whom the Brothers who took care of him could 
in no way please, but he abused them with word and blow, 
and reviled and abused God and all the saints, so that none 
could bear to listen to him. 

''But St. Francis himself approached this abandoned leper 
and greeted him and said, ' God give thee peace, dear brother ! ' 
But the leper answered, 'What peace can I have when God 
has taken everything from me and has made me all decas^ed 
and malodorous? And even then I would not complain of 
my disease, but the Brothers thou hast given me to wait 
upon and look after me do not do it as they ought! ' 

''Then Francis said, 'Son, since thou art not contented 
with the others, shall I take care of thee?' 'I would like 
that,' answered the sick man; 'but what couldst thou do Ux 
me more than the others?' 'I will do all thou wishest,' 

* Cd., V. pr.j I, c a6. Fior., 4* consid. 

*Cd., V. pr.y n, c. 6: "Pioponebat, Chiisto duoe, ingentia ae ^ctumm." 

' ditto, " Volebat ad serviendum leproais redire denuo, et haberi o(XDteiii|»tui, 
dcut aliquando habebatur." 

^ Cd., V, prima, H, c. 4: "Replebat omnem terrain evangdio Christie ita at 
ana die quatuor aut quinque casteUa vd etiam dvitates aaepius ciicuiret." 
''Cum per se ambulare non posaet, asdlo vectus drcuiret terras." 


answered St. Francis. Then the leper said, 'Then I want 
thee to wash me all over, for the odor is such that I cannot 
stand it.' 

''St. Francis thereupon had warm water with many aro- 
matic herbs in it prepared; he imdressed the sick man and 
began to wash him with his hands, and another Brother 
helped. And by a miracle from God it came to pass that 
where St. Francis touched him with his blessed hands the 
leprosy disappeared and the flesh became entirely well. And 
as the flesh began to be cured, the soul was also cured; for 
when the Isper saw that he was well he was overcome by 
great sorrow and emotion over his sins and began to weep 
bitterly. And when he was entirely healed in soul and body, 
he began in humility to accuse himself and said, weeping, in 
a loud voice, 'Woe to me, I have made myself worthy of 
hell by the injustice I have done the Brothers, and by my 
impatience and blasphemy I' 

"But St. Francis thanked God for so great a miracle and 
went away to distant regions, for from humility he wished 
to flee from all honor and sought in all things only God's 
honor and glory and never his own." ^ 

^ Pior.f c. 25. On the relation between Francis and the lepers see also 
SfecMlum perfecHaniSj cc. 44 and 58, with the nnmefous parallel dtations a 
Sabatier's cditioD. 



THE light which is soon to go out flares up for a last 
time, and such a last flaring was Francis' new zeal. 
The spirit indeed was willing, but as he sat upon 
his ass he seemed more a dead man than a living 
one, and for Brother Elias, who for a time was with Frauds 
in Foligno, it was clear that the master had only a couple 
of years to live.* The eye sickn,ess he had brought from 
Egypt, and which he had never attended to, now got the 
mastery, and not only Elias, but also others of the Brothers, 
begged him to try medical aid. 

This did not accord with Francis' ideas. In one of his 
Admonitiones he himself had advised his sick Brothers not 
to strive too eagerly for a cure, but to thank God for every- 
thing and not wish to have things better than God wanted 
them, for God chastises those He loves.^ Instead of con- 
sulting a physician, he sought solitude again, and this time 
it was to San Damiano that he withdrew himself. In the 
vicinity of the Sisters' convent St. Clara had placed a wattle 
hut, in which Francis could live.* 

It was in the siunmer of 1225, and the blinding Italian sun 
had evidently been bad for Francis' eyes. For a time he was 
quite blind and was incidentally plagued by a swarm of field- 
mice, who probably had their home in the straw walls of the 
hut, and who eventually ran over his face, so that he had 
no peace by day or night. Apparently never before had 
Francis been more depressed and unfortunate. And yet it 
was precisely in this wretched sickness, in the midst of the 

> Cel., VUa pr., II, c. 8. 

' Spec, perf.y c 42. Reg, pHma, c zo. 

* Spec, perf.t c. 100. Pior,, c. 19. 



darkness of blindness and of the plague of mice, that he 
composed his wonderful masterpiece, CanHcum fratris solis, 
the Canticle of our Brother Sim. 

To imderstand the Sun Song we must imderstand Frands' 
relations to nature. Nothing would be more unjust than to 
call him a pantheist. He never confoimded himself or God 
with nature, and the pantheist's alternations of wild orgies 
and pessimistic melancholy was quite foreign to him. Francis 
never, like SheUey, wished to be one with the imiverse; neither 
did he, with Wertiter or Tourgu6nieff, shudder as feeling himself 
abandoned to the blind inevitableness of things and to nature's 
^^everlastingly ruminating monsters." Francis' standpoint 
as to the conception of nature is entirely and only the first 
article of faith — he believed in a Falher who was also a 

And out of this common relationship with the one and 
same Father he saw in all living beings, yes in all that is 
created, only brothers and sisters. In the kingdom of the 
heavenly Father there are many mansions, but only one 
family. This thought is not Greek and is not German, but 
it is true Hebraic and therefore truly Christian. The song 
of praise which Ananias, Azarias and Misael sang in the 
fiery furnace of the Babylonian tyrant, and which has gone 
down to the Church, as it were an inheritance from the syna-* 
gogue, contains the foUowing: 

''AH ye works of the Lord, bless the Lord: praise and exalt 
him above all for ever. 

O ye angels of the Lord, bless the Lord: . . . 

O ye heavens, bless the Lord: . . . 

O all ye waters that are above the heavens, bless the Lord: 

O all ye powers of the Lord, bless the Lord: . . . 

O ye sun and moon, bless the Lord: . . . 

O ye stars of heaven, bless the Lord: . . . 

O every shower and dew, bless ye the Lord: . . • 

O all ye spirits of God, bless the Lord: . • . 

O ye fire and heat, bless the Lord: . . . 

O ye cold and heat, bless the Lord: . . . 

O ye ice and snow, bless the Lord: . . . 

O ye nights and days, bless the Lord: • • • 


O ye light and darkness, bless the Lord: , . . . 

O ye lightnings and clouds, bless the Lord: . . . 

O let the earth bless the Lord; let it praise and exalt him 
above all for ever. 

O ye mountains and hills, bless the Lord: . . . 

O all ye things that spring up in the earth, bless the 
Lord: . . . 

O ye fountains, bless the Lord: . . . 

O ye seas and rivers, bless the Lord: . . . 

O ye whales, and all that move in the waters^ bless the 
Lord: ... 

O all ye fowls of the air, bless the Lord: . . . 

O all ye beasts and cattle, bless the Lord: . . . 

O ye sons of men, bless the Lord: . . . 

O let Israel bless the Lord: let them praise and exalt him 
above all for ever. 

O ye priests of the Lord, bless the Lord: . . . 

O ye servants of the Lord, bless the Lord: . . . 

O ye spirits and souls of the just, bless the Lord: . . . 

O ye holy and humble of heart, bless the Lord: . . . 

Blessed art thou in the firmament of heaven, and worthy 
of praise and exalted above for ever.'' ^ 

There is no tone missing in this symphony of all creatures, 
where all sing together in the great song of praise from cheru- 
bim to atom . Morning after morning, year after year, Francis^ 
alone or with the Brothers, had sung out of their Breviaries 
daily this hymn of all creatures to the Creator. The poetry 
of it had won him early; in 1213 he raised a little chi^)el 
between S. Gemini and Porcaria, and had sentences such as 
these painted on the antependium of the altar: "All who 
fear the Lord, praise Him! Praise the Lord, heaven and 
earth! Praise Him, all rivers! All creatures, praise the 
Lord! All birds of heaven, praise the Lord!"* Francis' 
preaching to the birds at Bevagna is based on the same 
ideas: the birds are obliged to praise and bless their good 
Creator, who has cared so well for them; for all beings it is 

* Daniel iii. 57-67, 70-87 and 56. 

'Wadding, 1213, n. 17. The church in the custodianship of Todi 
called VErmmiay according to Rudolph of Tossignano there cited. 



undoubted happiness to exist, and it is theit simple, filial 
duty to thank their Father for life. 

Francis' feelings about nature gave him a predilection for 
all, that justified such an optimism. He turned with special 
joy to all the lightsome, beautiful and bright in his surround- 
ings — to the light and fire, the pure running water, flowers 
and birds. This feeling about natiu-e was half symbolic — 
Francis loved the water because it symbolized the sacred 
penitence by which the soul is piuified, and because baptism 
is effected by water. Therefore he had such great reverence 
for water that, when he washed his hands, he turned so that 
the drops which fell could not be trod under foot. Over 
stones and rocky ground he went with special carefulness, 
while he thought of him who is called the chief comer-stone. 
The Brother who cut wood in the forest he ordered to leave 
a part of the tree standing, so that there might be some hope 
of its putting forth branches again — ui honor of the Cross of 
Christ. He had the gardener arrange a bed where flowers 
would grow — to remind the Brothers of Him who is the 
lily of Sharon. 

But he possessed an entirely direct love of nature. Fire 
and light seemed to him so beautiful that he never could 
endure having a candle extinguished or a lamp put out. 
There was to be a place in the convent garden, not only for 
the kitchen vegetables, but also for the sweet-smelling herbs 
and for "our brothers the Flowers," so that every one who 
observed their beauty would be induced to praise God. He 
tenderly bent over the young of ''our brothers the Robins" 
in Grecdo, and in Siena built nests for turtle-doves. If he 
saw an earthworm lying on the road and twisting about 
helplessly, he would take it up and carry it to the side, so that 
it would not be crushed. In winter he put honey into the 
beehives for the bees to feed on. 

Every being was for Frauds a direct word from God.* 
like all pious souls he realized in the highest degree the 
worth of aU things and had reverence for them as for some* 
thing predous and holy. He understood God's presence 

I "Omnis enim creatuia didt et damat: Deus me fedt propter te, homo." 
Spec, perf,f c. 118. 


among his creatures; when he felt the immovable firmness 
and strength of the cliffs and rocks, he directly felt that God 
is strong and is to be trusted. The sight of a flower in the 
silence of the early morning or of the mouth of a little bird 
confidently opened revealed to him the pure beauty of God 
and his purity and the endless tenderness of the Creator.^ 

This feeling infused Francis with a constant joy in God, 
an uninterrupted tendency to thankfulness. In these thanks 
all beings were to participate and were to appear to have 
pleasure therein. ''Our Creator be praised, Brother Pheas- 
ant/' thus Francis addressed the rare bird, which a well- 
wisher had sent him, and the pheasant stayed with Francis 
and did not want to be with anyone else. ''Sing the praise 
of God, Sister Cicada, " he exclaimed under the olive trees at 
Portiuncula, and Sister Cicada sang until Francis bade it 
be silent. The wild animals often kept him company; for 
example, a hare on an island in Lake Thrasimene, a wild 
rabbit at Greccio. Near Siena he was surrounded by a 
flock of sheep; the gentle animals gathered around him and 
bleated, as if they wanted to tell him something. Sailing on 
Lake Rieti he was presented with a living fish; he put it 
into the water, and for a long time it followed the boat. A 
bird which was captured in the same place and given to him 
would not leave him until he explicitly commanded it to.' 

But above all things Francis was thankful for the sim — 
the Sim and fire. 

"Li the morning," he was wont to say, "when the sun rises, 
all men ought to praise God, who created it for our use, for 
all things are made visible by it. But in the evening, when 
it is night, all men ought to praise God for Brother Fire, 
which gives our eyes light at night. For we are all like the 
blind, but God gives our eyes light by means of these two 
brothers." * 

* Spec, perf,, cc xi6, ii8. Ccl., Vita sec,, 11, cc. i8, 124 (d'Al.). Adms^ 
c 34. FioreUi, c 22. Spec, perf,, p. 232: "nos qui cum eo fuimus, in tantum 
vid^Munus ipsum interius et ezterius Uetari quasi in omnibus crcaturis, quod 
ipsas tangendo vel videndo non in terra, sed in coelo ejus spiritus videbator.'* 

* CeL, Vita *«., II, cc. 126, 129-130. Tract, de mirac., IV, 23-31 (d'AL). 
Bomav., VIII, 7-xo. 

* Spec, perjf., c. Z19. 


The Sun Song had its origin in this idea. In his hut 
in San Damiano Francis lay like a blind man and could 
endure neither sunshine nor the light of a fire. And one 
night his sufferings were so great that he called out to 
God, ''Lord, help me, so that I can bear my sickness with 

Then in spirit it was answered him: ''Behold me, Brother; 
would you not be very glad if some one for these sufferings 
of thine gave thee so great a treasure that the whole world 
in comparison therewith is worth nothing?" And Francis 
answered, "Yes." But the voice went on, "Then be glad, 
Francis, and sing in your sickness and weakness, for the king- 
dom of heaven belongeth to thee!" 

But Francis arose early the next morning and said to the 
Brothers who sat about him: "If the Emperor had given me 
the whole Roman kingdom, should I not be greatly rejoiced? 
But now the Lord, even while I am living here below, has 
promised me the kingdom of heaven, and therefore it is 
proper that I should rejoice in my trials and thank God the 
Father and Son and Holy Ghost. And therefore I will in 
his honor and for your comfort and the edification of our 
neighbors compose a new song of praise about the creatures 
of the Lord whom we daily make use of, and without whom 
we could scarcely live, and whom we nevertheless so often 
misuse and thereby offend the Creator. And we are con- 
stantly imgratefid and do not think of the grace and benefi- 
cence which every day is shown us, and we do not thank 
the Lord, our Creator and the Giver of all good things, as we 
ought to do." 

And Francis sat down and thought. A moment after he 
broke out in the first words of the Sun Song, AUissimo, 
annipotmley ban Signore, "Highest, ahnighty, good Lord!" 

But when the song was composed in full, his heart was full 
of comfort and joy. And he wished straightway that Brother 
Padficus should take some other Brothers with him and go 
out into the world. And wherever they found themselves 
they were to stop and sing the new song of praise, and then 
as servants of God they should ask for compensation from 
their hearers, and the compensation should be that they 


who listened should be converted and become good Christians.^ 
But the Sun Song itself is this: ^ 

Altissimo, onnipotente bon signore, 

Tue so le laude, la gloria, el hoDore et onne benedicdone. 

Ad te solo, Altissimo, se konfano, 

et Qullu homo ene dignu te mentouare. 

Laudato sie, Misignore, cum tucte le tue creature, 

spetialmente messor lo frate sole, 

lo quale iomo et allumini noi per loi. 

£t ellu e bellu e radiante cum grande ^>lendore 

de te, Altissimo, porta significatione. 

Laudato si, Misignore, per sora luna e le stelle 

in celu lai formate darite et pretiose et belle. 

Laudato si, MisigDore, per frate vento 

et per aere et nubilo et sereuo et onne tempo, 

per lo quale a le tue creature dai sustentamento. 

Laudato si, Misignore, per sor aqua, 

la quale e molto utile et humile et pretiosa et casta. 

Laudato si, Misignore, per frate focu, 

per loquale enallumini la nocte, 

ed ello e bello et iocundo et robustoso et forte. 

Laudato si, Misignore, per sora nostra matre terra, 

la quale ne sustenta et govema 

et produce diversi fructi con coloriti flori et heiba. 

Laudate et benedlcete Misignore et rengratiate 

et serviateli cum grande humilitate. 

Most high omnipotent good Lord, 

Thine are the praises, the glory, the honor, and all benediction. 

To thee tUone, Most High, do they belong, 

And no man is worthy to mention thee. 

Praised be thou, my Lord, with all thy creatures. 

Especially the honored Brother Sun, 

Who makes the day and illumines us through thee. 

And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendor 

Bears the signification of thee. Most High One, 

Praised be thou, my Lord, for Sister Moon and the stars, 

Thou hast formed them in heaven dear and precious and 

Praised be thou, my Lord, for Brother Wind, 
And for the air and cloudy and clear and every weather, 
By which thou givest sustenance to thy creatures. 
Praised be thou, my Lord, for Sister Water, 
Which is very useful and humble and precious and chaste. 
Praised be thou, my Lord, for Brother Fire, 

> Spec, perf., capp. xoo, 119. Actus, c. 21. Cd., Vita sec., II, c 161 (d'i\l.) 
* Spec, perf., cap. 1 20. I repeat here only the original Sun Song (from Bdhmer, 

p. 65, L. 23-31; p. 66. L. 1-13 and 24-25). The two later additions will be 

givAQ further <mi. 


By whom tkou lightest the night. 

And he is beautiful and jocund and robust and strong. 

Praised be thou, my Lord, for our sister Mother Earth, 

Who sustains and governs us, 

And Reduces various fruits mth colored flowers and herbagi^ 

Praise and bless my Lord and give him thanhs 

And serve him with great 


IN the end of April, 1225, an uprising in Rome had forced 
Honorius III to leave the city, and after a short stay 
in Tivoli he transferred his residence to Rieti, where 
he remained xmtil the beginning of 1226.^ More 
urgently than ever Brother Elias begged Francis to go to the 
Papal Court, in which request he was supported by Cardinal 
Hugolin, to have his eyes treated by the skilful physicians 
who were there.^ At last, in the summer of 1225, Frauds 
left San Damiano and said farewell to Clara and the Sisters. 
It may have been on this occasion that he left them his 
last will in the following form : 

"I, Brother Frauds, wish to follow after the life and poverty 
of our highest Lord, Jesus Christ, and of His most holy 
Mother, and I will hold out in this to the last. And I pray 
you, my ladies, and coimsel you, that you always remain in 
this holiest way and in poverty. And be very careful that 
you do not in any way give up this way of life on anyone's 
advice or teaching/' • 

This time Francis must have travelled on foot; while he 
was at San Damiano Clara had prepared a pair of shoes for 
him such that he, notwithstanding the stigmata, could man- 
age to walk. From Temi he followed the old road through 
the valley, a way well known and dear to him. Between 
Poggio Bustone and Rieti he stopped with the priest of the 
little church of San Fabiano (now the convent of La Foresta), 
and as soon as the news of his arrival had been told in the 

* Potth., I, n. 7401-n. 7526. 

* Cel., Vita pr.j II, cc. IV-V. Actus, c 21. Fi4fr.j c. 19. Compare A. Boor- 
net: 5. Francois i* Assise, itude sodale et uMicaU (Paris, s,a.), pp. ziS-123. 

* Textus originaUs, p. 63: "pauio ante obitum suum itenim aoipat nobb 
nltimam voluntatem suam, dicens: £go frater Frandacua," etc 



town, people came out in great crowds to see him. Now 
unfortunately the road to the house where Frauds was 
stopping ran through the priest's little vineyard, and the 
crowds from the town slaked their thirst by eating the poor 
priest's ripe grapes, with the usual disregard to be expected 
on such occasions. The priest saw this pillaging only with 
sorrow and finaUy complained to Francis. ''The vineyard 
always gave me diirteen kegs of wine," he said sadly, ''and 
that was all I used in the whole year." Francis comforted 
him and promised him that this season too he would have his 
wine, and in fact it is told that the vines this year bore more 
profusely than before, so that the priest in the end got twenty 
kegs out of them.^ 

After this Francis stayed a short time in Rieti, in the house 
of Thedaldo the Saracen, according to what Wadding says.* 
It was here that Francis one evening called Brother Pacificus 
and told him to borrow a dthem and sing the Sun Song to 
its accompaniment. Pacificus was, however, afraid of arous- 
ing a disturbance in the house with his song and playing and 
said so. "Then we will let the thought go," said Francis; 
"one must give up much to avoid irritating one's weak 

The following night Francis lay awake and could not 
sleep for pain. Outside he heard the last belated wanderers 
going home; finaUy all was still, only the church bell from 
time to time sounded throu^ the night. Then Frauds 
heard outside his window the soft vibrations of a dthem's 
strings, and some one began to play outside. The pla3ang 
lasted a long, long time — now quite near, now a little distant, 
as if the player was going back and forth under the window. 
Enraptured, carried away, overcome by the music, which 
continued to stream out upon the still, hot autumn night, 
Frauds lay there and listened, and when morning came he 
said to Brother Pacificus: "The Lord did not forget me this 
time either, but comforted me, as He always does. Instead 
of thee, he sent me an angel, who has played for me all night."' 

^Spec, perf,f c. 104. Actus, c. 21. FioretH, c 19. 

* 1225, n. 2 (Mariano is the authority). 

* Cd., VUa see., II, c 89 (d'Al.). Bonav., V, iz. 


It was only when winter came that Francis left Rieti, going 
to the hermitage of S. Eleutherio, where, in spite of his iUness 
and of the severe cold which prevailed, he would not consent 
to have his habit lined with fur.^ Probably about Christmas 
time he went to Fonte Colombo. 

Meanwhile the Papal physicians had tried every conceiv- 
able remedy upon him — bindings, salves and plasters — and 
nothing did any good. They had also tried to reform his 
whole way of living, and in this they succeeded to some 
extent. "Has not thy body all through thy life been a good 
and willing servant and ally?'' they asked Francis, and he 
could not avoid giving "Brother Ass" a good character. 
"Then how hast thou treated it in return?" was the further 
question, and Francis had to acknowledge that his treatment 
had not been the best. Smitten with sorrow, he entered into 
himself and exclaimed, "Rejoice, Brother Body, and forgive 
me; now I am ready to hiunor you in your wishes!" ' As in 
so many cases of repentance, this also came too late. 

The physicians decided to adopt heroic measures and under- 
took the application of red-hot irons to both temples. Accord- 
ing to the views of the time such treatment should be very 
efficacious; it was used among other cases for hydrophobia.* 
When the phsrsidan and his assistant approached Francis 
with the brazier, in which the glowing irons lay, Francis made 
the sign of the Cross over them and said: "Brother Fire, 
thou who art nobler and more useful than most other crea- 
tures! I have always been good to thee and always will be 
so for love of him who has created thee! Now show thjrself 
gentle and courteous to me and do not bum me more than 
I can standi" 

The physician started the burning, and all the Brothers 
fled when they heard the flesh hiss tmder the iron. Frands 
only said, when it was over, "If that is not enough burning, 
then bum it again, for I have not felt the least pain!" * 

This physician seems to have fomoied a real friendship with 

^Spec, Perf,^ c. i6. 

* CeL, Vita sec,, n, c i6o (d'Al.). 

* Boumet, /^., p. X33. 

« Spec, pirf., c. 115. CeL, F. *«., H, c. 12s (d'AL). 


Frauds. He often and willingly talked with the Brothers 
about their wonderful master. ''It is singular," he once 
said; ''I can remember well the sermons of others, but never 
the sennons of Francis. And even if I do remember something 
of them, it nevertheless is no longer »//" ^ 

Once, when the consultation was lasting a long time, 
Francis wished to keep the physician to dinner. The Brothers 
said meanwhile that they did not have enough for them- 
selves, and certainly not enough to o£fer a stranger. ''Go 
and set out what we have," ordered Francis, ''and do not let 
me have to say it twice!" And hardly had they sat down at 
the table when there was a knock at the door and a woman 
stood outside with a basket filled with the best food — fine 
bread, fish, pies, honey and grapes.^ 

It was probably on the suggestion of the same physician 
that Francis later in the winter changed the bleak Fonte 
Colombo for Siena, already in the Middle Ages renowned 
for its mild air. ^ It was on the way thither that Francis and 
the Brothers, on the plain between San Quirico and Campilia, 
met three women, who all looked exactly alike, and who as 
the little group went by bowed the heads in greeting and in 
one voice said, "Hail to thee. Lady Poverty!" This meeting 
and this remarkable greeting for a long time occupied Francis' 
and the Brothers' minds. ' 

The treatment in Siena did no more good than that in 
Rieti, but the stay seems to have benefited Francis. He 
lived in the hermitage of Alberino (now Ravacdano, a little 
north of Siena), and it was here that he one day, among 
others, received a visit from a Dominican who, perhaps 
not without reference to Frands' own condition, asked for 
an interpretation of the words of Ezechiel, If thou dost not 
announce to the ungodly his impiety, "I will require his blood 
at thy hand." * "For I know many who live in mortal sin," 
declared the troubled Dominican, "and I say not this to them. 
Shall all these souls be required of me? " Francis answered, in 

* Cel., V. sec,, 11, c 73 (d'Al.). 
*ibid., c. 15. 

* CeL, V. sec., n, c 60 (d'AL). Bonav., Vn, 6. 
« EiedL iii. xS. 


his usual way of thought, that a life of goodness was the best 
sermon for the wicked, and that God's message to the prophet 
was most completely corresponded to by such an example.^ 

The question of tiie Dominican had made more impression 
upon Francis than he wished to acknowledge. One night he 
awakened the Brothers and said to them : '' I have begged God 
to say to me, when I am his servant and when noi^ for I neither 
wish nor desire anything else than truly to serve him. And 
the Lord has shown me grace and answered me: 'Thou art 
really and truly my servant, when thou thinkest, speakest 
and doest all, as it is becoming!' Therefore you have per- 
mission to despise me, if I do not do that." ' 

In accordance with this was the incident, when in Siena he 
inculcated anew the Brothers' obligation of poverty. A cer- 
tain ''Sir Bona venture" had presented a piece of ground for 
a new convent; Francis gave the following rules for its erection: 

The Brothers must for the present accept no more land than 
what is strictly necessary. Next they must not build without 
the permission of the local Bishop — "for the Lord has called 
us to the help of the priests of the Roman Church" and not 
to work in opposition to them. Francis had himself given 
the best example of this, when in Imola he let himself be 
turned away by the Bishop, whom he asked for permission to 
preach in the city, but who answered him, "Brother! It is 
enough when I preach!" 

After they had got the permission of the clerical authorities, 
the Brothers were to dig a deep ditch aroimd their groimd and 
to plant a good hedge behind the ditch, but they were to 
build no wall. In front of the hedge the cells were to be built 
of mud and wattles, and there was to be no large churdi, but 
only a poor little chapel.* 

The improvement which was apparent in Frauds' health 
was of no duration. One night he had bad haemorrhages, 
and the Brothers thought he was going to die. Weeping 

^ Spec, perf,^ c. 53. Cel., V. sec., II, c. 69 (d'Al.). As eariy as 1225 the 
Dominicans had a convent and churdi, S. Domenico, in Siena. 

• Spec, Perf.y c. 74. Cel., V. *«., II, c. 1x8. 

* Spec, perf.y c. 10. The convent of S. Francesco, erected in Siena in 1236, 
does not oorre^xmd with this deacriptioii. — For the Bishop of ImoU, see Cel*. 
F. sec,, n, c. 108 (d'Al.). 


they knelt around his bed and begged for his last blessing. 
As soon as Francis came back to his senses he ordered his 
mass-priest, Brother Benedict of Prato, to bring parchment, 
pen and ink. ''Write/' he then said, ''that I bless aU my 
Brethren who are in the Order, or who are going to enter it, 
from now imtil the end of the world. And as a sign that 
they have received this my blessing, and for memory of me, 
I leave them this testament, that they ought always to love 
each other, as I have loved them and still love them; that 
they should always love and honpr our Lady Poverty; that 
they should always be true and obedient to the clerks and 
prelates of oiu: holy Mother Church." After having dictated 
these words, Francis blessed them all, "as he had been wont 
to do at the Chapter Meetings " many of the Brothers thought, 
and. as they again burst forth in sobs, he wearily closed his 

The end was not yet — six months were to pass before 
Francis in earnest could bid "Sister Death" welcome. For 
the present he had enough to do with "Sister Sickness." * By 
Brother Elias' arrangement he was transported to Celle near 
Cortona; here a dropsy was added to his troubles so that his 
underbody, legs and feet swelled up. The stomach could 
retain no more food; then came severe pains in spleen and 
liver.' Francis had only the one wish, to see Assisi again 
before he died, and in this Elias complied with his desire. For 
fear that the inhabitants of Perugia should by an actual attack 
get possession of the sick man (and thereby of the true saint 
all saw in Francis), EUas transported home by a circuitous 
route the body of his master, that already in full life was a 
reUc to be striven for. By Gubbio and Nocera they approached 
the place, not far from Bagni di Nocera, where now the con- 
vent of VEremUa stands; here they were joined by a body of 
armed men sent from Assisi to meet them and to guard them 
for the rest of the way. At midday of the same day they 
entered the territory of Assisi and stopped in the village of 
Satriano (now a lonesome village below Sasso Rosso, very 

* Spec, perf,^ c. 87. ComfMre Cdano, Vita prima, n, c. Vn, n. zos* 
« Cd., Vila sec., II, c. 161 (d'Al.). Bonav., XIV, 2. 

* Cd., V. prima, U. Spec., p. 183 (ed. Sab.). 



near to Babbiano). Francis was here received as a guest 
in a private house; the soldiers meanwhile wished to go into 
the village and buy food for themselves. No one would sell 
them anything, and sullen and hungry they returned. ^' Yes, 
this is what you get, when you depend upon your useless 
money (muscae, lit., flies). But try now and go from door to 
door and beg for a little in God's name, and you will see 
that you will get what you need!" This proved to be true.^ 

Towards evening the procession entered Assisi. The 
invalid was brought to the Bishop's residence, and a watch 
was set around the house to prevent all attempts of the 
Perugians upon the «aint of Assisi. 

If the churchly and dvil authorities of Assisi were thus 
united when it came to the question of securing Francis' 
person, there were other topics where there was no such 
unity of sentiment. The first knowledge Francis acquired 
of the home relations was, that the podestk and Bishcq) were 
in open strife, and that the Bishop had placed the ban upon 
the podesti, and the podest^ in return had forbidden all 
citizens to have anjrthing to do with the Bishop. ''It is a 
great shame for us, God's servants," said Francis to his 
Brothers, ''that no one makes peace here!" And to do what 
he could he composed two new verses for his Sun Song,, and 
then sent a messenger to the podesti to come to the Bishop's 
residence, and one to the Bishop to meet him. The summoned 
ones came and gathered together on the Piazza del Vescovado 
— the same place where, nineteen years before, Francis had 
given back his clothes to his father. And when all were there, 
two Friars Minor stepped out and sang the first Sun Song, as 
Francis had originally ¥nitten it, and then the new verses: 

Laudato si, Misignore, per quelli ke perdoDano per lo tuo amore 
et sostengo infirmitate et tribulatione, 
bead quelli kd sosterrano in pace, 
ka da te, Altissimo, sirano inooronati. 

" Praised be tkouy Lard, for those who give pardon for thy Um 
and endure infirmity and tribuUUUm, 
blessed those, who endure in peace, 
who toiU be, Most High, crowned by (heel** 

^ Spec, perf., c. aa. CeL, V, sec., H, c. 47 (d'Al.). 


Whilst the two Brothers sang, all stood with folded hands, 
as if the Gospel was being read in church. But when the 
song was ended, and the last Laudato si Misignare had ceased 
to be heard, the podesti made a step forward, cast himself 
down before Bishop Guido and said : " Out of love to our Lord 
Jesus Christ and to his servant Francis I forgive you from my 
heart and am ready to do your will, as it may seem good to 

But the Bishop leaned over and drew up his enemy, embraced 
him and kissed him and said: ''On account of|my office I 
should be humble and peaceful. But I am by nature inclined 
to anger, and thou must therefore be indulgent with me." 

But the Brothers went in and told Francis of the victory he 
had won over the evil spirits of dissension with his song.* 

By this time the invalid could not but realize that he had 
but little time left. One day he asked the physician who 
attended him, a native of Arezzo named Bongiovanni, for 
the exact truth.* ''With God's help things can go much 
better," was the evasive answer. "Tell me the truth, Bern- 
hegnatol " said Francis, who used to call the physician by this 
name, because the use of his real name "Good John" seemed 
to him in conflict with the words of the gospel, that "One 
is good, God" (Matthew, zix. 17). On shnilar groimds 
Francis would call no one master, so as not to be in conflict 
with the citation in Matthew, xxiii. 10. 

When the physician realized that it was the truth that had 
to be told to Francis, he answered without reservation: "I 
consider that thou still canst live till the last of September or 
the beginning of October!" Francis was silent for a moment 
— then he stretched his hands upward and cried out, "Th«n 
be welcome, Sister Death!" And as if by these words he had 
opened up again the fount of poetry in his soul, he added to 
his Sun Song these last verses: 

Laudato si, Misignore, per sora nostra morte oorporale, 
da la quale nullu homo vivente po skappare. 
Guai acquelli ke morrano ne le peccata mortal!. 
Bead quelli ke trovarane le tue sanctissime voluntati, 
ka la morte secimda nol farra male. 

^Spec, perf,, cap. loi. 

*CoDoeming this physidan see Boumet, /.c, p. 12s, n. >• 


*" Praised he thou, O Lardjor ow Sister BodUy DeaA, 
from whom no living man can escape. 
Woe to those who die in mortal sin. 
Blessed those who have discovered thy most holy wiU, 
for to them the second death can do no harml"^ 

From this moment Francis wanted Brother Angdo and 
Brother Leo to be always with him, in order to sing to him 
about Sister Death, when he would desire it. And now it 
was in vain that Brother Elias came and warned him not to 
give scandal by the constant singing — "there is a watch 
set below, and they do not think that thou art a holy man, 
when they hear singing and playing always in thy cell!" 
Francis had now for a long enough period submitted and 
yielded; now when he was about to die, he wanted at least 
to have leave to die in his own way. "By the grace of the 
Holy Ghost," said he, "I am so completely united with my 
Lord and God, that I may well be allowed to be glad and 
rejoice in him!"* 

But it was not only a time for singing — it was also time for 
Francis to put his house in order. In the last weeks his 
thoughts flew constantly to two places — to the faithful 
Brothers in La Vema and in Rieti, at Portiimcula and Cariceri, 
and to Clara and her Sisters in San Damiano. 

The road from the episcopal residence in Assisi down to 
San Damiano is not long, yet Francis had trod it for the last 
time. It was in vain that Clara sent messengers to him and 
told him to come, so that she could bid him farewell — it was 
no longer possible. He had to be satisfied to send her his last 
blessing in writing. "Say to Sister Clara," he said to the 
Brethren who were to go with the letter, " that I absolve her 
for every transgression of the commands of the Son of God or 
of mine, which she may have been guilty of, and that she now 
must put aside all care and tribulation, for now she cannot 
get to see me, but before she dies, both she and her Sisters 
shall see me and have great comfort therefrom." ' Probably 
Francis had himself arranged that his body — as it did 

* Spec, perf.f capp. 122-123. Compare Cd., Vita sec., IT, c. 163 (d'AL). 
^Spec. perf.y cap. 121. Adus^ c. z8. 

* Spec, perf.y c. zo8, c. 90. 


happen — was to be taken up to San Damiano after his 

All that remained was to leave a word of farewell to the 
Brethren. And this the Testament did — that remarkable 
document in which Francis from his death-bed looks back 
over his life, with melancholy and joy dwelling on the first 
hours of his conversion's dawn, while he also thought with 
sadness of what the coming years were to bring his faithful 
disciples. Once again he collects here in short, impressive 
sentences all the admonitions from the General Chapters and 
from letters. 

'^ The Lord thus gave to me, Brother Francis, to begin to do 
penance, because when I was in sin it appeared too bitter to 
me to see lepers; and the Lord himself led me among them, 
and gave me pity for them. And leaving them, that which 
seemed to me bitter was changed for me into sweetness of 
soul and body. And afterwards I remained a little and left 
the world. And the Lord gave me such faith in churches 
that I would simply pray and say: ' We adore thee. Lord 
Jesus Christ, here and in all thy churches, that are in the 
whole world, and we bless thee, because by thy holy Cross 
thou hast redeemed the world.' 

'' Afterwards the Lord gave me and gives me stiU such faith 
in priests who live by the f oim of the holy Roman Church on 
account of their holy orders, that, if they should do persecution 
upon me, I would wish to have recourse to them. And if 
I would have as much wisdom as Solomon had, and would 
find the very poor priests of this world, I would not wish 
to preach without their desire in the parishes in which they 
live. And I wish to fear, love and honor these same and all 
others as my lords; and I wish to see in them no sin, because 
I see the Son of God in them, and they are my lords. And I 
do it for this, because I see nothing bodily in this world of the 
very highest Son of God except his most holy body and 
blood which they receive and they alone administer to others. 
And these most holy mysteries I wish above all things to 
honor, to venerate and to be placed in precious places. The 
most holy names and his written words, wherever I may 
have found them in improper places, I wish to gather, and I 


ask. that they be collected and be placed in a becoming place. 
And all theologians and those who minister the most holy 
divine words we ou^t to honor and venerate as those who 
minister to us spirit and life. 

'' And after the Lord gave me some Brothers, no one showed 
me what I ought to do; but the Most High himself revealed 
to me that I should live according to the form of the holy 
gospel. And I had it written in a few words and sin4>ly; 
and the Lord Pope confirmed it for me. And those who came 
to receive this life gave all they had to the poor, and were 
content with one tunic, patched inside and out, if they wished 
it, with a girdle and breeches. And we were unwilling to 
have more. 

*' We clerics said the Office like other clerics, the laymen said 
the Pater noster; and we remained wilUngly enou^ in the 
churches. And we were simple and subject to all. And I 
worked with my hands and wish to work; and all the other 
Brothers I strongly wish that they may work at labor which 
is of honest nature. And when the price of our labor is not 
given to us, we return to the table of the Lord in seeking alms 
from door to door. 

^' The Lord revealed to me a salutation, that we should say: 
* The Lord give thee peace.' Let the Brothers beware, that 
they do not accept on any account churches, poor habitations 
and all other things which are built for them, unless they are 
such as suits holy Poverty, which we have promised in the 
Rule, always living here as strangers and pilgrims. 

'' I make it a firm precept of obedience for all the Brothers, 
that wherever they are they do not dare to seek for any 
letter from the Roman Curia by themselves or by a substi- 
tuted person, neither for a church nor for another place, nor 
under the guise of preaching, nor for the persecution of their 
bodies, but, wherever they may not have been received, let 
them fly into another land to do penance with the blessing 
of God. And I wish firmly to obey the General Minister of 
this Brotherhood and the other guardian, whom it may please 
him to give me. And thus I wish to be a active in his 
hands, that I may not go a step or act outside of obedience 
and his wish, because he is my lord. And although I may 


be simple and weak, nevertheless I wish to have a cleric who 
will perform the Office for me as it is contained in the Rule. 

''And let all the other Brothers be obliged thus to obey 
their guardians and to do the Office according to the Rule. 
And those who may have been found, who did not do the 
Office according to the Ride, and wish to vary in other wa3rs, 
or are not Catholics, let all Brothers, wherever they are, be 
obliged by obedience, that, whenever they will have foimd 
any of these, they should declare to the nearer guardian of 
that place, where they may have found him.^ And the 
guardian is firmly obliged by obedience to guard him strictly 
like a man in bonds by day and by night, so that he cannot 
be taken out of his hands until he shall in his own person 
place him in the hands of his own minister. And the min- 
ister is firmly obliged by obedience to send him by such 
Brothers who will guard him day and night like a man in 
bonds, until they present him to the lord of Ostia, who is the 
lord, protector, and corrector of the whole Brotherhood. 

''And let not the Brothers say: 'This is another Rule;' for 
this is a remembrance, an admonition and an exhortation, and 
my Testament, which I, Brother little Francis, make for you 
my blessed Brothers for this, that we may observe in a more 
catholic way the Rule which God has put before us. And the 
General Minister and all other ministers and custodes, let them 
be held by obedience not to add or diminish anything in 
these words. And let them always have this writing along 
with them together with the Rule. And at all Chapters they 
hold, when they read the Rule, let them read these words. 
And I make it a firm precept of obedience for all my clerical 
and lay Brothers, that they do not apply glosses to the Rule 
nor to these words by saying, ' They ought to be understood 
thus'; but as the Lord gave it to me to tell and write the Rule 
and these words purely and simply, so are you to understand 
simply and ptu*ely and observe unto the end with holy opera- 

1 "proximiori custodi illius lod, ubi ipsum invenerint, ddbeant repreaentaie/' 
The affair is so important, that the Brothers shall not keep within the limits ci 
the custodian, but seek the nearest custodian, whether the convent is in his 
jurisdiction or not. 


'^ And whoever will have observed these things may be filled 
with the blessing of the most high Father in Heaven, and on 
earth be filled with the blessing of his beloved Son with the 
most Holy Ghost the Paraclete and with all virtues of the 
heavens and all the saints. And I, Brother Francis, your 
little one and servant, as far as I can, confirm to you within 
and without this most holy blessing. Amen.^ " 

Francis had now taken care of the future as well as he 
could. In the Middle Ages even a Fapal bull was not alwa3rs 
certain of obedience, and Francis perhaps had not any great 
confidence in the obedience which the Brethren would give 
to his last will. But his conscience was quiet — he could 
do no more. 

With a touching charity he continued to love his Brethren 
to the last. Like all sick people, Francis lying prostrate now 
had one desire and now another. Once he coiild hardly eat 
anything; ^'but if I had a little fish," said he, ^'I believe I 
could get it down." Another time he had the desire in the 
middle of the night for some leaves of parsley; he thought 
that would do him good. It was only imwillingly that the 
Brother in charge went to do what seemed to him useless 
work, plucking parsley in pitch darkness.' More than once 
Francis must have seen a doud of impatience on the Brother's 
coimtenance, and eventually as he lay there he formed scruples 
in the matter. '' Perhaps I lie here," he thought, '^and am 
the cause of my Brother sinning by anger. It might be, 
that if they did not have me to look after they could pray 
much more and live in a more regular way." Accordingly 
one day he called the Brethren to his bed and bade them 
not to be weary of all the inconvenience he occasioned them; 
it was not he alone in his person whom all this trouble con- 
cerned, but in and with him it related to all the Order. '^ And 
when you are weary of me, keep always before your eyes 
that the Lord will reward you for all that you do for me." ' 

To occasion the Brothers less trouble Francis finally decided 

^O^uscula (Quaraochi), pp. 77-^3- "AnalelUem** (Bdhmer), pp. 56-40. 
Specidum perfecHonis (Sabatier), pp. 309-313. 

'The fish, Spec, perj,, c. iii. The parsley, CeL, F. sec., II, c. 23 (d'AL). 
•5/«;. ^/., c. 89. 


to have himself carried down to Portinnciila. Bishop Guido 
was away — gone on a pilgrimage to Monte Gargona, perhaps 
as a penance for his strife with the podest^.^ And the citizens 
in Assisi did not oppose the move, but merely let the guard 
accompany the party to Portiuncula.^ 

Accompanied by a great crowd of men the Brothers carried 
the sick man out of the dty. From the episcopal residence 
the party went throtigh la Portacday a principal gate now 
walled up, between Porta Mojano and Porta S. Pietro. By a 
road which here follows the dty wall, S. Salvatore delle Pareti 
is reached, the leper hospital about half-way between Assisi 
and Portiimcula (now Casa Gualdi). As this place so memor- 
able in the story of Francis' conversion was approached, the 
invalid asked to have the Utter set down. ''And so turn me 
with my face to Assisi," he said. 

There was a moment of deep silence, whilst the sick man 
with the assistance of his Brethren was raised up. Above on 
the mountain side lay the dty wall of Assisi and its gates and 
row after row of houses, sxurounding the towers of San Rufino 
and Santa Maria della Minerva. Over the dty, just as to-day, 
the bare cliff of Sasso Rosso hung with the German tower on 
top. Further away Monte Subasio was blue in the distance, 
where Carceri lay, and at whose feet San Damiano hid itself. 
And between Francis and the dty was the great plain where, 
when young, he had taken his lonely rides and dreamt of 
doing great things. From this land and this city he had set 
forth, to this land and this dty he was going back to die. 

With his half-blind eyes Frauds stared for a long time at 
the town, over the mountains, over the plain. Then he 
slowly lifted his hands and made the sign of the Cross over 
Assisi. ''Blessed be thou of the Lord," he cried, "for he has 
chosen thee to be a home and an abode for all those who in 
truth will glorify him and give honor to his name!"' Then 
he dropped back upon the litter, and the Brothers carried him 
on to Portiuncula. 

^ Cd., Vita see,f II, c. 166 (d'Al.). The Bishop was on his way home when 
Frands died. 

'This follows from Celaoo's TrackUus de miraculis, IV, n. 3a: "Custodes 
dvitatis, qui sollidtis vigiliis custodiebant locum." 

* Actus, c. x8. Spec, perf., c. 124. 


The invalid was taken into a hut which was a few paces 
behind Portiuncula chapel. Here it was that he had the 
comfort of receiving a visit from '^ Brother Jacoba," Jaci^a de 
Settesoli. Just as she arrived Francis was going to dictate 
a letter to her asking her to come. The rumor of the master's 
inciu'able sickness had reached Rome, and Lady Jacopa 
brought with her the cowl she had woven for him, and which 
was to be his shroud, together with wax candles and incense 
for the solenmities of the intennent. No woman was allowed 
to enter Portiimcula, but an exception was made for '^Brother 
Jacoba." With tears she fell upon the bed of the beloved 
master — ''like Magdalen at the feet of Jesus," the Brothers 
whispered to each other. The visit enlivened Frauds, and 
to please him stiU more Jacopa prepared his Roman dainty, 
of which he in his sickness had often spoken and wanted to 
have. Not only did Frauds eat of it, but Brother Bernard of 
Quintavalle was called in to also get a portion of the unusual 

Jacopa de Settesoli's visit fell in the last week that Francis 
lived.^ The Thursday following, which was th&first of October, 
he collected the Brothers about him and blessed each one of 
them. With special love he placed his hand on the head of 
Bernard of Quintavalle. ''Write," said he to Brother Leo, 
"that I, as well as I am able, wish and command that all 
Brothers in the whole Order shall honor Bernard, as if it 
were myself, for he was the first who came to me and gave his 
goods to the poor." ■ 

Francis then gave a last sermon of admonition to the 
Brothers, pressed it upon them above all to be faithful to 
poverty, and — as a symbol thereof — to be true to poor 
little Portiuncula. "If they drive you out of one door, then 

1 Spec, Peff.y cc. ii3» 107. Adus^ c. 18. Cd., Trac. de fmrac., VI, nn. 37-3S. 
Bcmaid a. Bessa in Anal. Franc., JH, p. 1687. Compare Viia Bernardi, ditto, 
p. 43, where Bernard is brought down from Assisi on this occasion. 

*Spec. peff. (Sab.)» p. 223. 

*Spee. perf.j cc iia, 107. Achu, c. 5 {PionUi, c. 6) , where Brother Elias 
is blessed by Francis with the left hand only, while Bemacd is blessed with the 
right and is also made General of the Order. Compare Vita BemanU in And. 
Franc., HI, p. 42. In Celano, ViSa prima (H, c VII, n. 108) Elias only reoeivca 
the blessing; in Vita sec., n,c 163, Franda blesses all, incipient a ticario sne. 


go in the other/' said he, ''for here is God's house and the 
gate of Heaven I" He blessed finally with the whole of his 
overflowing heart, not only the absent Brethren but also all 
Brothers who should ever enter the Order — "I bless them/' 
said he, ''as much as I can — and more than I can." Francis 
perhaps never said anything which better expresses the whole 
of his innermost nature, than this plusquam possum. The 
^irit which actuated him had never rested before it had 
done more than it could. And now at the end it gave him 
no rest. After he had blessed his disciples he had himself 
completely imdressed and placed on the bare earth in the hut. 
Lying there he took from the guardian as a last alms the cowl, 
in which he was to die, and as this did not seem poor enough, 
he had a rag sewed to it. In the same way he received a pair 
of breeches, a rope, with a hat he wore to hide the scars which 
always showed on his temples. Thus he had held his faith 
with Lady Poverty to the last and could die without owning 
more upon this earth than he had owned when he came 
into it.^ 

Exhausted, Francis fell into a sleep, but early on Friday 
morning he awaked with great pains. The Brothers were 
constantly gathered about him, and Frands' love to them 
constantly sought some new outlet. Thinking it was still 
Thursday, the day on which the Lord held the Last Supper 
with his disciples, he had them bring a loaf of bread, he 
blessed it, broke it, and gave them all bits of it. "And bring 
me the Holy Scripture and read the Gospel of Maundy 
Thursday to me!" said he. "To-day is not Thursday," one 
told him. "I thought it was still Thursday!" he answered. 
The book was brought, and as the day dawned the words of 
the Holy Scriptures were read over Frands' death-bed — the 
words in which were smnmarized all his life and learning: 

"Before the festival-day of the pasch, Jesus knowing that 
his hour was come, that he should pass out of this world to 
the Father: having loved his own who were in the world, he 
loved them unto the end. And when supper was done, (the 
devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, the son 

* Cel., Vita prima, 11, c. VII, nn. 106, 108; c. VIII, n. log. V, sec,, H 
c. 163, nn. 214-215. Spec, paf,, pp. 222 and 33. Bonav., XIV, nn. 3-4. 


of Simon, to betray him,) knowing that the Father had given 
him all things into his hands, and that he came from God, 
and goeth to God: He riseth from supper, and layeth aside 
his garments, and having taken a towel girded himself. 
After that he putteth water into a basin, and b^an to wash 
the feet of the disciples, and to wipe them with the towel 
wherewith he was girded. He cometh, therefore, to Simon 
Peter, and Peter saith to him; Lord, dost thou wash my 
feet? Jesus answered and said to him: What I do, thou 
knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter. Peter 
saith to him: Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus 
answered him: If I wash thee not, thou shalt have no part 
with me. Simon Peter saith to him: Lord, not only my 
feet, but also my hands, and my head. Jesus saith to him: 
He that is washed, needeth not but to wash his feet, but is 
cleaned wholly. And you are clean, but not all. For he 
knew who he was that would betray him ; therefore he said : 
You are not all clean. Then after he had washed their feet, 
and taken his garments, being sat down again, he said to 
them: Know you what I have done to you? You call me 
Master, and Lord; and you say well, for so I am. If then I, 
being yotir Lord and Master, have washed your feet; you 
also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you 
an example, that as I have done to you, so you do also.'' ' 

During the days Francis still lived, none of the Brothers 
left his bed-side. Again and again Angelo and Leo had to 
sing the Sun Song to him — again and again did the sick one 
say the last words: "Praised be thou, O Lord, for Sister 
Death!" Again he asked his guardian to have his clothes 
removed, when the last hour would come, and received per- 
mission to expire lying naked on the earth. 

Friday passed and Saturday came (October 3, 1226). The 
physician came, and Francis greeted him with the question 
of when the portals to the everlasting life should be opened 
to him. He required of the Brothers that they should strew 
ashes over him — "soon I will be nothing but dust and ashes." 

Towards evening he began to sing with unusual strength. 
It was no more the Sun Song, but the 141st Psalm of David, 

1 St. John ziii. x-15. Spec, perf,, cap. 88. Cel.» VUa sec,, II, c 163 (d'AI J 


the one which in the Vulgate begins: Voce mea ad Daminum 
damavi. As the October evening fell rs^idly, and it grew 
dark in the little hut in the Portiuncula woods, Francis 
prayed in the deep stillness, among the disciples listening 

"I cried to the Lord with my voice: with my voice I made 
supplication to the Lord. 

''In his sight I pour out my prayer, and before him I declare 
my trouble: 

''When my spirit failed me, then thou knewest my paths. 

" In this way wherein I walked, they have hidden a snare 
for me. 

"I looked on my right hand, and beheld: and there was no 
one that would know me. 

" Flight hath failed me : and there is no one that hath regard 
to my soul. 

"I cried to thee, O Lord; I said: Thou art my hope, my 
portion in the land of the living. 

"Attend to my supplication: for I am brought very low. 

"Deliver me from my persecutors; for they are stronger 
than I. 

"Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name: 
the just wait for me, until thou reward me." 

While Francis prayed it was quite dark in the little cell. 
And as his voice ceased all was still as death — a stillness 
which this voice was never more to break. Francis of Assisi 
had closed his lips for ever; he went into eternity singing.^ 

But as a last greeting to the departed singer of God at this 
moment, over and around the house there was a loud and 
sudden twittering — it was Francis' good friends the larks 
who said their last farewell.^ 

^ "mortem cantando susceptt." Cel., Vita sec,, II, c. 162 (d'Al.). 
*Spec, perf.f c. 1x3. Cd., Trac, de miraculis, IV, q. 3a. 


THE first who was admitted to see Frands' body was 
Jacopa. Weeping she fell upon the master's lifeless 
body and with burning tears flowing, kissed over and 
over again the wounds in the feet and hands of the 
dead saint. Together with the Brothers she watched through 
the night by the master's bier, and when Sunday morning 
dawned her resolve was taken — she would not leave Assisi, 
but would spend the rest of her life in the places where 
Frauds had walked and worked. Like San Damiano her 
house in Assisi became a meeting place for the faithful disd- 
ples, and many ahns went through her hands, to Brother Leo, 
Brother Giles or Brother Rufino. It is certainly more than 
a suspidon, when Sabatier says that she dosed Brother Leo's 
eyes; he died full of years about 1274. She lies buried in the 
Franciscan church in Assisi; a fresco shows her in the habit 
of a tertiary and with the cowl woven for Francis over her arm; 
the inscription reads: Hie requiescU Jacoha sancta nobilisque 
Ramana, ^'Here Jacoba rests, a holy and noble Roman. "^ 

Early Sunday morning the people came from all sides to 
give the dead saint his first homage. The rumor of Francis' 
stigmata flew from mouth to mouth, and the influx of those 
wishing to see them was beyond computation. The dergy 
came in solemn procession down from Assisi to take the 
remains, and with olive boughs and lighted candles in their 
hands, with sound of trumpet and hynms of jubilee, the line 
reached up to the dty. To fulfil the promise Francis had 

^ Trad, de mirac., VI, n. 39. See alao E. d'Alen^on: Pr^e Jacqudine (Pazis» 
1899, with reproduction of the fresco), and Sabatier in Spec, perf,^ p. 85, 
and pp. lysr^yj. For Jacoba and Brother Giles see Anal, FramCf HI, p. xos» 
Adus, c 44. 


THE END 335 

made Qara, the rpad by San Damiano was taken, and with 
bitter grief and lamentation the Sisters here said their last 
farewell to their beloved guide and teacher.^ Then the pro- 
cession went to the church of San Giorgio, to the place where 
now is the church of Santa Chiara, and there the lifeless 
body of St. Francis was temporarily laid, imtil on May 25, 
1230, it was removed to the beautiful church of St. Francis 
built by Brother Elias. 

None of the old chroniclers teU us where Jacopa de Settesoli 
remained during this fimeral procession. It is quite improb- 
able that she as a woman followed in the procession of clericals, 
brothers and soldiers. We may believe that she stayed 
behind in Portiuncula. When the great procession with all 
its splendor and chantings had disappeared among the trees, 
she may have again stepped within the hut where Francis 
livftd and breathed twenty-four years before. And the grue- 
some emptiness overcame her — the emptiness which every 
death leaves behind it, and how much more such a death! 
Only now could she fully realize what she had lost, and 
kneeling in the little Portiimcula chapel that was so dark and 
desolate to her, she thought with weeping of him whose body 
they had borne in triumph to Assisi, but who never again 
would call her ''Brother Jacoba." 

^Seepage Z37. 





AirrHORrnEs for the life of saint francis 


IN recent times there have been few sources of more vivid 
discussion in the learned worid than the question of the 
true value of the authorities for the life of St. Francb of 
This discussion was aroused by the iq>pearance in 1894 of 
Sabatier's Vie de 5. Francois (P Assise and by his edition in 1898 
of the work Speculum perfecHonis with the bold sub^title, ''The 
oldest l^end of St. Francis, written by Brother Leo and now 
published for the first time." Without going too dose to the 
limits of veradty one can say that the cdebrated Frenchman 
had to give up neariy all the theories which he undertook to 
uphdd in this work. But his errors have proved to be very 
fruitful, as they have led to new researches, and if one inquires 
who it is who above all others in most recent times has found 
new grounds for Franciscan researches, it is the name of Paul 
Sabatier that first and foremost will form itself upon the lips. 
Even a Columbus based his discoveries upon false theories, and 
if it should be the last result of the new movement in Franciscan 
studies, inspired by Sabatier, that the old modes of thought should 
be intrinsically fortified hereafter, tested as they have been by a 
sharp critic, they will be only stronger for the test. 

In the following pages I shall seek to unravel the difficult ques* 
tion with which we are here concerned, while I pay strict regard 
to all the researches hitherto carried on by Sabatier and his school 
or by their opponents. 

As the first and most authoritative source for the life of Francis 
of Assisi we may name 




Brother Francis was not only a preacher, but he also im- 
pressed the written word into his service. We have from his 
handy besides the two or three Rules of ike Order (Tres Socii, IX, 
35), Admonitions, Letters, Psalms of Praise, and Prayers, nearly 
all in LAtin. We know the names of several people with whom he 
corresponded: St. Clara, Sisters of her Order, Cardinal Hugolin, 
who afterwards was Pope wider the name Gregory IX, Brother 
Elias of Cortona and St. Anthony of Padua.^ We know also the 
name of his secretary; it was Brother Leo. L^end presents him 
in the eighteenth chapter of the FioreUi wandering with Francis on 
the road from Perugia to Santa Maria degli Angeli, and step by 
step Frands called out to him and ordered him to write what he 
was now sa3dng — ''Mark that accurately. Brother Leo, and wriie 
that dcwnJ^ This is what Brother Leo constantly did, and he thus 
became not only the secretary oi Francis of Assisi, but also his 
biographer and one of the principal sources of our knowledge of 
the Umbrian founder of the Order. 

The writings of Francis, whether they were in manuscript or 
put down with the pen of Brother Leo, whether they were, like 
most, in Latin or, like some, in Italian, are not all in eiristf.nce. 
Thus the Florentine chronicler Mariano (d. 1527) speaks of "some 
Praise Songs in Italian to the Sisters of St. Clara"; we have 
them no more.* To make up for this and other losses the Irish 
Minorite, Luke Wadding, in his well-known edition of the works 
of St. Francis (Antwerp, 1623), injected a quantity of "Sayings^ 
Conversations, Witticisms, Comparisons and Examples" whidi 
various legends had placed in the mouth of St. Francis, and which 
he now without further research brought forward in direct form 
as ''Words of St. Francis." Down to the most recent time this 
principle has been more or less followed; the year 1904. first {mo* 
duced a real critical edition, due to the Franciscans in Quaracchi. 

» Acta Sanctorum, Aug. 11, p. 767. Seraphkae Legislaticnis Textus ariginales 
(Quaracchi, 1897), pp. 63, 276. Thomas of Cdano, Vita prima, 11, s, Vita 
secunda, III, 99. Tres Socii, XVI, 67. Speculum perfecHams, Sabatier's ecL, 
cap. X08, Lexnmens' edition, cap. 18. 

*Opuscula S. P. Prancisci Assisiensis (Quaracchi, 1904), p. IX, n. x. In 
the Speculum perfecHanis (Sabatier's ed., Paris, 1898), cap. 70, arc ^vcn "qu»- 
dAin sancta verba cum cantu," which Francis wrote "pro consolatione et cdi- 
ficatione pauperum dominarum"; compare the same work, p. 391, for the 
researches which were organized to find them, and Sabatier: Vie de S. FranKois 
(1894), p. 377; see also the Testament of St. Clara (Acta 55., Aug. II, p. 747). 


In this new edition, Opuscula SancH Pains Prancisci Assisten- 
sis (Ad Claras Aquas, 1904, xvi and 209 pp.), are found only the 
works which the writers are justified in accepting. The prin- 
cipal source is a manuscript of the fourteenth century (MS. 
No. 338 in Assisi, described by Ehrle in Archiv fiir LiUerakur und 
KirchethGesckickie des MiUdalters, Vol. I, pp. 484-485).^ 

The severity of the criticism to which all was subjected is shown 
by the fact tJiat while Wadding in his collection had seventeen 
letters of St. Francis, the Quaracchi edition gives only six. Also 
the Rule of the Order of the Poor Clares and the Rule of the 
Third Order of St. Francis, which were formerly ascribed to St. 
Francis, are attributed to him no longer. 

While I abandon the sequence in which the editors have arranged 
the authentic writings of St. Frands still in existence, I have 
divided them into poetic and prose works, and take up in the first 
group what I would call Francis of Assisi's 

Religious Poems 

Frands was by nature of a joyful spirit. 

Thomas of Celano, speaking of the time before his conversion, 
says that Francis and his friends disturbed the dtizens of Assisi 
at night with "drunken songs" '; the Tres Socii say that he was 
^'addicted to joke and song." This delight in song did not leave 
him after his conversion. After having abandoned his paternal 
inheritance he wandered through the woods ''singing the praise 
of. the Lord"; as he begged the sons of his dty in the market- 
place of Assisi for stones to restore the church of San Damiano he 
did it singing; he went out with Brother Giles on his first mission 
trip with song. It was song that comforted him during his many 
long sicknesses, and he received the approach of death singing — 
mortem cantando suscepit, as Thomas of Celano wrote.' 

His religious feelings broke forth easily. Often in his prose 
writings it is to be remarked how inspiration will suddenly seize 
the writer, and in the middle of a Rule of the Order one is aston- 

^ See also Sabatier: Vie de S. Franqois^ pp. 39-41 and p. 370, n. i, where 
the manuscripts in question are given to about 1240, W. Gdtz in Brieger's 
"Zeitschrift iiiir Kirchengeschichte," vol. XXII, p. 373, note 2, as well as Falod 
in Miscellanea Francescanay VI, p. 45. The Quaracdii edition contains only 
the Latin works and therefore does not include the Sun Song. 

• Cel., K. sec.y I, 3; Tres Sociiy n. 2. 

• Cel., V. pr.y I, 7; Tres Sociiy nn. 21, 33. Cd., V, sec.. Ill, 66, 138. Cel., 
V. pr., I, 8. Cel., V, sec., Ill, 139. 


ished to find a Song of Praise to the Almighty, a laud, as the 
technical expression eventually became. In the first of the Rules 
of the Order, preserved to us in Chap. XXI, Francis himself pro- 
duces such a laud for the Brothers to sing, when and how they 
wished, and which began thus: 

Timete et honorate, 

laudete et benedidte, 

gratias agite et adocate 

Dominiim Deum omnipotentem in trinitate et imitate. • • • 

Another more complete laud is preserved for us in the last 
chapter of the same Rule,^ and as independent poetical works we 
have from the hand of St. Francis of Assisi no less than four Praise 
Songs — three in Latin and one in Italian. The Italian is the 
celebrated Sun Song, the Latin ones are entitled Laudes Domini, 
Laudes de virMibus and Laudes Dei. 

I. The Sun Song or Song about Creatures {Cantico difrate sole, 
laude delle creakire). 

That this, the first-born work of the Italian school of poetiy, is 
not a translation of a Latin text, but was really written by St. 
Francis in his mother tongue, is now proved by the old description 
of St. Frauds' wanderings and doings in Rieti {LibMus actuum b. 
Patris Francisci tempore quo fuU in civikUe Reate et comiUUu gus- 
dem). This work seems to belong to the end of the. fourteenth 
century; a copy of the one which is in the great convent library 
in Assisi is dated 1416. In it it is said explicitly that Francis 
^'hadwritten this Praise Song in the languageof the country. . . . 
And because our Holy Father has composed it I have not ventured 
to change it." ' The work Speculum perfecUonis, which belongs 
to about the year 1300, contains the Sun Song in Ch^ter 120, the 

^ The 17th chapter alao has a species of Lauds; they q>eciaUy restmble the 
Laudes Dei named below. 

In Chronica XXIV generalium it is told — which also belongs here — that 
Brother Rufino on Mt. Alvema more soliiOf "in his usual manner/* gave 
Francis the greeting: Laus et benedicHo sit Domino Deo nostro (Anal, Fran' 
ciscanay III, p. 48). 

Chap. XXI of the First Rule of the Order is to be found written side by side 
with the Sun Song, in a manuscript in S. Isidoro in Rome dating from the four- 
teenth century with the special endorsement De laude et exhortatione, quam 
possunt omnes fratres facere, (Doc. antiq. Franc, ^ Lemmens' ed., Ill, Quaracclii, 
1902, p. 63.) 

' MS. 679 in Asasi, is given in Maroellino da Gvezza's and Teofilo Domeni* 
cheOi's edition of the Legenda trium sociorum^ Rome, 1899, pp. 208. 


occasion of its composition is told in Chapter loo, and in Chapters 
zoi and 123 the reasons are given why it was afterward increased 
with some few strophes. Thomas of Celano knows Francis of 
Assisi's ''song about creatures" and knows that he wrote it on his 

That the remaining Italian poems, which have long been ascribed 
to St. Francis {In foco amor mi mise and Amor di caritade) were 
not by him, but by Jaoopone da Todi, was known to Pater Ireneo 
Aff6 a hundred years before the modem north European phi- 
lologers knew it.' 

2. Laudes Domini^ "the praises of the Lord/' a laud which 
consists (a) in a paraphrase of the Paternoster, (b) of a sort of 
part-song, made up in parts from the Apocalypse, from the Book 
of Daniel and from the literature of the Church. (Te Deum.) 
It is apparently this laud that Francis refers to when he, as 
Ecdeston tells us, in a letter to the Brothers in France exhorted 
them to sing with jubilee the praises of the Divine Trinity with 
the words: ''Let us praise the Father and the Son with the Holy 
Ghost." * In the Speculum perfecHanis (cap. 83, ed. Sabatier) it 
is told that the Brothers in Portiuncula, as a punishment for 
having spoken superfluous words, had to recite the prayer "Our 
Father" with "The praises of the Lord," and in the same place it 
is said that Francis himself was very fond of reciting this prayer 
and always strenuously recommended it to the other Brothers. 
The rubric in the Assist Manuscript No. 338 agrees with this. 
We are there told that Francis prescribed these Laudes Domini 

^ Vita secunia, in, 138: "Laudes de creaturis tunc quaadam oomposuit et 
eaa utcumque ad O:eatorem laudandum accendit." m, 139: "bivitabat 
oomes creaturas ad laudem Dei, et per verba quaedam, quae olim composuerat 
ipse eas ad divinum hortabatur amorem/' 

* Affd: In canHci di S. Francesco ^ Guastaila, 1777. In more recent times the 
Sun Song was studied by Bfihmer ("Romanische Studien," Halle, 1871, H. I, 
p. 120), by Ozanam {Les paiies franciscains, 1882, p. 87 and p. 361), by Sabatier 
(Vie de 5. Pran^aiSf pp. 349-3S3i Speculum perfecHams, pp. 277-283 and p. 
198, n. i), by Falod-Pulignani (MisceUanea Francescana^ U, 190, III, 3-6, IV, 
87-^, VII, fasc. I). Delia Giovanna has (in Giomale storico di leUeratura 
itaUana, voL XXV, vol. XXIX, vol. XXXIII) questioned die auUientidty 
of the Sun Song. On die otiier side, Misc, Franc.y VI, 43-50, and Analecta 
BcUandianay XIV, p. 227. Gdtz (Briegers Zeitschrift, vol. XXII, pp. 561-563) 
regards the Sun Song ''provisionally" as genuine. 

Editions of the text of the Sun Song: Papini: SicHa di S. Francesco, 11, Foligno, 
1827, p. 144; Cristofani: Storia di S. DanUano, Assisi, 1883; Falod: Mise. 
Franc., HI, 3-6 (five variations): Sabatier: Speculum pwfecUoms, Paris, 1898, 
pp. 284-289 (four variations). 

' Analecta Franciscana, I, p. 232. 


''for all Canonical hours of the day or night and for the Hours of 
the Blessed Virgin Mary." ^ 

As a sort of continuation of these lauds there usually appears 
a Greeting to the Blessed Virgin^ which is given in the Quaracchi 
edition, p. 123. These must not be confused with: 

3. Laudes de virtutibus or Salutatio virtutum (Quar. ed., pp. 
20-21), whose authenticity is testified to by Thomas of Celano, who 
(Vita secunda^ III, 119) tells us that Francis "In the Laud he com- 
posed concerning virtues speaks thus, 'Hail to thee. Queen Wis- 
dom, God salutes thee, and thy Sister, the pure holy Simplicity.'" 
But this is a literal quotation from Laudes de virtutibus^ which, 
with its invocations of the "Holy Lady Poverty," of "Lady 
Charity," "Sister Humility," and "Sister Obedience," bears so 
strong and genuine an imprint of Francis. 

4. Laudes Dei. These lauds have a particular status because 
the original manuscript of one of them holds a place as one of 
the few autographs of St. Francis which have been preserved up 
to the present time.* It is written on the back of another auto- 
graph, namely. Blessing to Brother Leo, and the two autograph 
pieces are best treated in connection with each other. 

According to Thomas of Cdano (Vita secunda, II, 18; compare 
Bonav., Legenda major, cap. XI, n. 9) it came to pass in the year 
1224 that Brother Leo, while he was on Mt. Alvema together with 
St. Francis, fell into a great but piurely spiritual temptation. 
"And he desired inwardly to have a reminder of the word of the 
Lord written by the hand of St. Francis. . . . And one day St. 
Francis addresses him and says: 'Bring me paper and ink, for I 
want to write down the Word of God and his Praise which I have 
preserved in my heart.' At once there is brought to him what 
he asks for, and with his own hand he writes the praises of God 
(laudes Dei), together with the Word as he wished it and finally a 
blessing for the Brother, while he says, 'Take this paper with you 
and preserve it carefully until your death. By the same all your 
temptations flee.' The letter is preserved and afterwards worked 

This was not the only time that Frauds gave some lines to one 
of his disdples written by his own hand with the exhortation to 

^The Frandscans still use in part this fonn — see my "Pilgrixnsbogen/' 
1903, pp. 34-36. 

* There are three: Laudes Dei, Blessing of Brother Leo and a letter to Brother 
Leo. See Falod: di Autoffrafi di S, Francesco in Misc. Francescana, VI (1895), 
pp. 32-39* and VII, p. 67. 


preserve them. Thus he said in the end of the letter to Elias of 
Cortona: ''Keep this writing with you, so that you can better 
comply with it." ^ 

Whether Brother Elias followed this advice literally we do not 
know, but the humble Brother Leo — "God's little lamb/' as the 
master called him — faithfully kept with him the blessing from 
the hand of St. Francis until his death, that finally occurred on 
November 14, 1271. The parchment so faithfully preserved by 
him was^ inherited by the Franciscan convent in Assisi (Sagro 
Convento), within whose walls Brother Leo ended his days.' 
There the autograph, somewhat faded, was smoothed out and 
framed; in a list of the relics of St. Francis made in 1348 there 
is named "a wooden frame with the blessing of Brother Leo," 
together with "Praise of the Creator written by St. Francis' own 
hand." * When Wadding was in Assisi in 1619, he was able, there- 
fore, to copy the Laudes Dei for the use of his edition of the works 
of St. Francis after the original manuscript, as he himself states. * 

In our days the old autograph is to be found in the sacristy of 
the celebrated convent chapel, enclosed in a beautiful silver 
reliquary dating from the seventeenth century. Behind the glass 
of the reliquary is seen the piece of parchment, 14 centimetres high 
and 10 centimetres wide (5.6 inches by 4 inches), with evident 
traces of being long kept folded. The first glance shows one that 
there are two different handwritings on the parchment. The 
larger, which is written with black ink, is from the hand of St. 
Francis; the smaller writing, which is in red ink (rubrics), is by 
Brother Leo. 

The parchment has three things on it from the hand of St. 
Francis. The first is the Blessing, the next is the Dedication of 
the same, and the third is the Subscription, given in the form of 
a hieroglyph. 

I. The Blessing. It reads: 

Benedicat dbt Dominus et custo 
diat te ostendat faciem 
8uum tibi et misereatur tui 
convertat vultum sutim ad te 
et det tibi pacem. 

^Opusctda, Quaracchi ed., pp. zio, xo6, Z12, 114-115. Sabatier's CcUec^ 
Hon denudes et if documeniSy vol. II, p. 115. 

* Analecta Pronciscana, III, p. 65. 

* The list is found in MS. No. 344 in the comnwmal library in Assisi. Misa, 
Franc, f vol. I, pp. 141-150. 

^ Edition of 1623, p. loi. 


This is the blessing of the Old Testament (Numbers vi. 24-26), 
as now given in Lutheran churches: "The Lord bless thee and 
keep thee. The Lord shew his feoe to thee, and have mercy on 
thee. The Lord turn his countenance to thee, and give thee 

2. The Dedication. 



Leo te 

"The Lord bless, Leo, thee." There is some particular signifi- 
cance in the way Brother Leo's name is put in between the verb 
of the sentence and its object. It is as if we saw Francis, lifting 
his eyes from the parchment, look with love upon his bowed-down 
friend and brother. "The Lord bless — Leol — thee! " 

3. The Subscription. 

To understand this we must recollect the occasion on which the 
blessing was written down. It was on Mt. Alvema at the end of 
the month of September, 1224. On the festival of the Elevation 
of the Cross immediately before (September 14) St. Frands had 
received the stigmata. Now he signed as his signature, not his 
name, but a hieroglyph, a symbol whose meaning was the Cruci- 
fixion. The upright T is the prophet Ezekid's letter Thau (Ez. 
ix. 4), which in the script of the Middle Ages was accepted as the 
sign of the Cross. And this Cross is shown standing on the Mount 
Golgotha — the very rough outline of the sketch — together with 
a skull, the inner figure resembling a fruit, which in so many 
of the Calvaries of the Middle Ages is shown under the foot of the 
Cross. A single modem interpreter,^ perhaps too imagmative, has 
even daimed to find in the mountain of the sketch, not Golgotha, 
but La Vema, and in the jagged line thinks that he sees a crude 
attempt to reproduce the rugged profile of La Vema. The mean- 
ing of the sketch in any case is the same — an expression of the 
words of the Apostle, "I bear the marks of the wounds of the Lord 
Jesus on my body!"* 

^M. Cazxnichad: La Benedmone di S, Prancesco (Leghorn, 1900). 

* As far as this interpretation is correct it must be referred to die time after 
the stigmatization and therefore to the last two years of St Frands' life, as St. 
Bonaventure sa3rs in his Legend (IV, 9): "This sign" (i.e., of the Cross) "the 
saint held in an especially great honor, commanded in his sermons that it should 
be used, and subscribed it with his own hand in the small letters which he sent 
(in eis quas dirigebat litterulis manu propria subscribebat), exactly as if all 
his effort was to fulfil the words of the prophet and * mark Thau upon the 


As alitady noted, and as every one who visits Assisi can see for 
himself 9 the little bit of parchment shows dear traces of having 
been long kept folded up. This indicates that Brother Leo ob- 
served his lord and master's command and kept the blessing with 
him until he died. 

But besides this, in the long time he survived his spiritual father 
he preserved the valued memory of his journey to the heathen in 
not less than three notes, which are now the most important proofs 
of the genuineness of the document. Right over the little seal he 
has written thus: Beatus Franciscus scripsU manu sua islam bene* 
dicUonem mUn frairi Leoni, " The blessed Francis wrote with his 
own hand this blessing for me, Brother Leo." Under the signature 
comes next: SimiU mode fecU istud signum thau cum capUe manu 
sua^ ''He also with his own hand made this sign thau with a 
head (skull)." Finally, the uppermost part of the parchment 
bears the most important of the three additions. What Brother 
Leo has written here is this: Beaius Franciscus duobus anms ante 
mortem suam fecU quadragesimam in loco Alveme ad honorem beate 
Virginis Marie matris dei el beaH MichaeUs Archangdi a feslo 
assumpHonis sancte Marie virginis usque ad fesPum sancH michadis 
sepienibris el facta est super eum manus domini propter wsionem el 
aUocutionem seraphim el impressionem sHgmahim ckristi in cor pore 
suo fecit has laudes ex alio latere cartule scriptas el manu sua scripsil 
graUas agens domino de beneficio sibi cMato. 

In English: ''Two years before his death the blessed Frauds 
kept his fast in the locality of Alvema in honor of the Blessed Virgin 
Mary Mother of God, and of the holy Archangd Michad, from 
the feast of the Assumption of the Holy Virgin Mary up to the 
feast of St. Michael in September and the hand of the Lord came 
over him on account of the vision and allocution of the seraphim 
and of the impression of the stigmata of Christ upon his body he 
made these praises written upon the other side of the paper and 
giving thanks to the Lord for the benefit conferred on him wrote 
with his own hand." 

Brother Leo certainly intended with this explidt note to have 
verified the genuineness of the blessiag beyond any doubt. For 

foreheads of the men that sigh and mourn/ in the present case those who 
were truly converted to Christ Jesus." 

In Thomas of Celano, in this Miractda beoH Prancisci (first published in the 
Amdecta BoUandiana, vol. XYIII) is found the following: "the sign 'Thau' was 
dear to him above ail other signs, and with that alone he subscribed his letters 
(missivas cariulas) and marked the walls of his cell all over with it" (ditto, pp. 


many years the relic in Assisi was r^arded as a document of high 
rank because it contains the observations of a contemporary and 
ahnost of an eye-witness of the stigmatization« 

It happened at the end of the nineteenth century that the well- 
known diurch and art historian, F. X. Kraus, got possession of 
a poor facsimile of the parchment, and basing his conclusions 
thereon, claimed that it was a counterfeit, and that an examina- 
tion of the signature on the document would go to show that the 
so-called blessing of St. Francis, at the earliest, can only be ascribed 
to the fifteenth century. 

The first to oppose this attack — and which came from the 
Catholic side — was Paul Sabatier. As an answer to Kraus he 
sent to the editor of the journal in which the attack had been 
published a photograph of the document in dilute, and in order 
to obtain for himself an authoritative opinion the editor placed 
this photograph before three authorities on palxography, one 
being Wattenbach. In a report dated October 25, 1895, the 
unanimous opinion was expressed by the investigators that there 
is ''no palaeographic reason for denying that this manuscript may 
date from the time of St. Francis." The French Sociiti NaHanaU 
des Aniiquaires came to the same conclusion January 22, 1896. 
Later, Walter Gotz placed a copy of the blessing of St. Francis 
before Professor Seeliger in Leipzig for his opinion; his answer was 
also favorable to the authenticity of the document.^ 

The blessing mayy therefore, be real. The manuscript actually 
dates from the thirteenth century, but may we not think that we 
stand before a very old copy? 

This new doubt emanated again from Elraus, who did not wish 
to give up his hypercritical standpoint. He declared that accord- 
ing to Thomas of Celano and to Brother Leo the Laudes Dei 
written by Francis should be found on the other side of the parch- 
ment. Now it happens that in Assisi the back of the blessing is 
carefully kept hidden — but why? Because the laudes q)oken of 
are not to be foimd there! 

This was easily answered. The silver back of the reliquary 
was simply removed, and there was seen — what Wadding had 
already seen in the seventeenth century — the perfectly recogniz- 
able Laudes Dei, although partly obliterated, because of the long 
time Brother Leo had carried the parchment with him. 

> Kraus and Sabatier in "Theologische Literaturseitung/' Leipzig, i8g5» 
pp. 404 and 627. The French palaeographer, Bulklin crUique, March 5, 1896. 
Seeliger in Brieger's " Zeitschrift fdr Kirchcmgeschichte,*' voL XXII, p. 37a 


As an example of St. Frands' Latin poetry this laud is given 
in the foot-note below, in the fonn reconstructed by Falod (Misc. 
Franc., VI, p. 38) with the help of Wadding's copy. The words 
which still can be read in the Assisi autograph are printed in 

As early as the fifteenth century the laud was partly illegible, 
whOe even the oldest copies — sudi as Bartholomew of Pisa's or 
the one in Jacob Oddi's chronicle La Francesckina — do not give 
us the complete text. The text in the Quaracchi edition is a little 
different from that given below, taken from a manuscript of Assisi 
of the fourteenth century, which the editor suspects to have been 
a direct copy of the original. 

In near relationship with Francis of Assisi's religious poetry 
must be placed the Officium Passionis Domini arranged by him — 
which in fact is made up of quotations from the Bible. Its 
genuineness is confirmed by rderence to Thomas of Celano's 
Biography of St. Clara.^ 

Prose Writings 

These embrace two classes — Letters and Rules of the Order. 

Wadding gives seventeen letters from St. Francis in his edition. 
The Franciscans in Quaracchi have accepted only six. The eleven 
others are partly fragments or later copies of other, authentic 
letters, in part without any manuscript proofs, reconstructed by 
Wadding in Latin after old Spanish translations. One — the letter 
to Anthony of Padua — is excluded from the Quaracchi edition 
as doubtfid. Sabatier regards it as a forgery, but on the other 
hand it is accepted both by Gotz and Lempp.' Of one of the 
letters of which Wadding had only a Spanish translation, Sabatier 

* Tu es sanctus dominus deus. Tu es deus deonim, qui solus fads mirabilia. 
Tu es fortis, tu es magnuSy tu es altissimus. Tu es omnipotens, tu es pater sancte 
rex celt et texrae. Tu es trinus et unus dominus deus deonim. Tu es bonumf 
omne honum, summum bonum, dominus deus invus et verus. Tu es caritas^ 
tu es sapientia, tu es humilitasj tu es patientia. Tu es pulchritudo, tu es securitas. 
Tu es quietas, tu es gaudium. Tu es spes nostra, tu es jtistitia . . . et temper- 
antia . . . tu es omnia divitia nostra ad sufficientiam. . . , Tu es mansuetudo 
. . . tu es protector, tu es custos et defensor. . . , Tu es refugium nostrum et 
virtus. Tu es fides, spes et caritas nostra. Tu es magna dulcedo nostra. Tu 
es bonitas infinita, magnus et admlrabilis dominus deus, omnipotens, pius et 
misericors et salvator. 

* A, 55., August II, p. 761. 

» Sabatier, Vie, p. 322. G6tz in "Zeitschr. f. Kirchengesch." (Gotha), vol 
XXn, p. 529, Lempp in same, vol. XII, p. 42S1 n. 2, and PP- 43^ et seq. 


some few years ago found a Latin counterpart, but whidi differs 
considerably from Wadding's text.^ 

The different letters will be found desoibed in the biography, 
where they belong; there also will be found the necessary critical 

The same applies to the Rules of the Order which have been 
preserved for us — the first called by Earl MUller the Rule ci 
I22I, and the second approved in 1223 by Honorius m. In 
connection with the Rules of the Order the so-called AdmanUiones 
(Admonitions) will also be treated, as well as the Hermit^RMks 
belonging with them, and the circular letter, '^On Reverence for 
the Lord's Body." 

The Rule of the Poor Clares and the Rule of the Third Order 
of St. Francis, such as we now know them, are no longer 
attributed by anybody to St. Francis; in the Rule of the Poor 
Clares we find, however, some few lines of his hand, remains of the 
Forma vivendi (Mode of Ufe) he originally wrote for the Poor Clares 
and of his UUima vdunias (Last charge) to them. These two will 
be spoken of in the proper place. 

Finally, we have from the hand of Francis of Assisi a remarkable 
document, which can often be found referred to in this work — 
his TestatnefU. This document is half of the r^^ular character, 
half a sort of autobiography. Its genuineness has been disputed 
by Karl Hasse; he r^ards it as being ^'made up of real and known 
utterances of Francis, in confirmation of his Rule and of the Roman 
spirit." For Sabatier it is practically the reverse, ^'almost a 
revocation" of the same Rule. G5tz regards it as so reliable a 
document '^that all the other remains," according to him, ''may be 
proved thereby." * 

In reality the genuineness of the Testament is beyond all doubt. 
Not only that the descriptions and thoughts therein are so truly 
Franciscan and accord with all that we otherwise know of St. 
Francis, but, as Gotzhas remarked, the speech also bears everywhere 
the marks of having been written down from dictation, and is 
primitive and unpolished. Besides, a whole quantity of other 
criteria speak for its authenticity. Thomas of Celano and Julian 
of Speier give it three times separately. Gregory DC refers to it 
in his bull (Quo dongcUt) of September 28, 1230, twice and gives 

' ColUaion denudes, etc., ed. Sabatier, vol. 11, pp. 135 ct acq. 

*Ha8e: "Franz v. Assisi" (Leipzig, 1856), p. 136, n. 8. Sabatier: Vie, p. 
316. Gatz in Brieger's "Zeitschr. I. Kirchengesch.," vol. XXII (Gotha, 
XQoi), p. 376. 


it in indirect form. FinaUy, it is dted twice in the Three Brothers' 

Sabatier thinks that Francis wrote his Testament several times, 
and bases this conclusion on Cap. 87 of the Specuhtm perfectionis, 
where the sick saint has Brother Benedict of Prato called to him 
and "in three words" imparts his last will to him and to all the 
Brethren.' He also left to St. Clara and the Sisters of her Order 
testamentary notes.* 


The list of the biographers of St. Francis, whom it is permissible 
to take as original sources, begins shortly after his death with 
Thomas of Celano and ends about the year 1400 with works of 
compilation such as Bartholomew of Pisa's ConformUates (1385) 
and the anonymous Speculum viUu S. Francisci et sociorum ejus 
(about 1445). I divide these biographers into four successive 
groups, each with its own definite chronological limits and also 
with its express character, and I will designate the following 
groups, named after the most prominent of the authors or books: 

1. Thomas of Celano Group (about 1230). 

2. Brother Leo Group (about 1245). 

3. St. Bonaventure Group (about 1265). 

4. Speculum Group (later than about 1320).^ 

^ As an example I give this single oomparison: 

Cdano, Vita prima, I, 7: sicut ipse in testamento suo loquitur, dicens: 
Quia cum essem in peocatis, nimis amarum mihi videbatur videie leprosos, et 
Dominus oonduzit me inter illos, et fed misericordiam cum illis. 

Testamenl: quia, cum essem in peccatis, nimis mihi videbatur amarum 
videre leprosos; et ipse Dominus conduzit me inter illos, et fed misericordiam 
cum illis. (Quaracchi ed., p. 76.) 

See also Cel., V, pr.y I, 15 — Test. (Q. ed.) p. 79; 1, 17 — pp. 77-78; Cel., V. 
sec.t III, 99 ~ pp. 78-79; Julian of Speier (A, SS., Oct. II, p. 579, n. zSa) *■ 
p. 80; Quo dongali (Sab., Spec. Ptrf,^ pp. 3x4-322) ■* p. 8a, p. 80. Trts Socii, 
IV, XX ~ CeL, V, pr,, I, 17; VIII, 26 — as quoted by Julian of Speier. 

'The three wwds were: mutual charity — love of poverty — obedience 
to the Church. 

* See his UUima tolutUas admitted into the Rule of the Clares. Compare 
the following place in St. Clara's testament: "plura scripta nobis tradidit, 
ne post mortem suam declinaremus a paupertate" (A» 55., Aug. II, p. 767. 
Seraph. lepdaUonis kxtus originaleSf Quaracchi, X897, p. 276. Waddiing, 

iaS3. a. 5). 

* As the first biogmphical work we may name the Circular letter to all the 

Brothers, sent out by Elias of Cortona immediately after Frauds' death (Wad- 
ding, n, ppk X49-X50; A. SS., Oct II, pp. 668-669). 


I. Thomas of Celano Group 

I assign to this group first and foremost Thomas of Celano's 
Vita prima, next Julian of Spder's Legend, which later is quoted 
in the Speculum kistariale, of the Dominican Vincent of Beauvais, 
finally the versified biography written by Brother Henry, with 
many shorter legends, especially for liturgical use. 

(a) Thomas of Cdano^s Vita prima. Thomas of Celano, author 
of the celebrated Judgment Day Hynm Dies ira, was bom about 
1 200 and entered the Franciscan Order between 12 13 and 12 16. 
He was received into the Order by Francis himself, just at the 
time when St. Francis had decided to go to Morocco, but was 
prevented from carrying out that intention.^ After the Pentecost 
Chapter of 1221 he went as a missionary to Germany, in 1222 was 
custodian in Mayence, later in Worms and in Cologne; in 1223 
the German Provincial, Brother Caesarius of Speier, installed him 
as his vicar, while he, Cxsarius, went to Italy; in 1227 he followed 
the new Provincial, Brother Albert of Pisa, to the General Chapter 
at Portiuncula. He spent the next year in Italy. His description 
of St. Francis' canonization in 1228 leads us to suspect that he 
himself was in attendance there. He received from Gregory IX 
the commission to prepare a biography of St. Francis and as early 
as February 25, 1229, was able to hand the complete work to the 

^ On account of the uncertainty of this date we can only say that Celano's 
admission to the Order came within these limits. Vita prima, 1, cap. 20: ''Sed 
bonus Deus, cui mei et multorum . . . placuit recordari, cum jam ivisset 
versus Hispaniam . . . eum a coepto itinere revocavit. Revertente quoque 
ipso ad ecclcsiam s. Mariae de Portiuncula, tempore non multo post quidam 
Iitterati viri . . . ei gratissime adhseserunt." See A, SS,, Oct. II, p. 546, n. 6. 

' For biographical notes on Thomas of Celano see Jordanus of Giano (Anal. 
Franc., I, pp. 8, 11) and Chronica anonyma {Anal. Franc,, 1, pp. 287, 289). In 
his preface to his biography of St. Francis he claims to write " jubente domino et 
gloriosopapaGregorio." One of theMSS. of the Legend (3817, National Lib- 
rary, Paris, fourteenth century) contains the following note: "ApudPerusium 
felix domnus papa Gregorius nonus secundo gloriosi pontificatus sui anno qulnto 
kal. martii legendam banc recepit, confirmavit et censuit fore tenendam." 
{Catalogus codicum hagiographorum latinorum in Bihl. Nal. Parisiensi, Brussels, 
1889, 1, p. 364.) Thomas of Celano's authorship is also testified to by Jordanus 
of Giano (1262): ''Thoma de Celano, qui legendam sancti Frandsci et primam 
et secundam postea conscripsit" {Anal. Fran., I, p. 8), by Salimbene (1283. 
Parma ed., p. 60): "pnecepit (fr. Crescentius) Thomae de Celano, qui 
primam legendam beat! Frandsci fecerat, ut iterum scriberet alium librum," 
by Bernard of Bessa, St. Bonaventure's secretary, who, in the introduction to 
his legend, says (about 1290): ''beati Francisd vitam scripsit . . . fiater 
Thomas, jubente domino Gregorio papa" (Anal. Fr., Ill, p. 666). 


Thomas of Cdano explains in the preface that he used two 
sources of information: his personal experiences and reliable 
witnesses, and that he always strictly followed the truth.^ There 
is no reason to doubt this assertion of a serious man, and the 
modem attempts to represent him as a biassed writer and falsifier 
of history simply take away the ground which at one time seemed 
to have been conquered. To-day , as Gotz has said, "Celano's 
Viia prima is the fixed point, from which the determination of the 
value of our sources must begin." ^ 

When Thomas of Celano makes excuses in his preface for his 
** unpolished words," it is nothing but modesty. He is really what 
he himself calls himself, a vir liieraiuSf a lettered man, who has 
perfect command of his style; one can turn over the pages of all 
literature without finding more captivating sketches of men and 
occurrences than in Celano, and his Latin is carried along by 
a constantly sustained, gently undulating rhythm. The faults 
which affect his style are the faults of the time; he does not always 
avoid, in spite of his attempts to do so, what he himself entitles 

^ "veritate semper previa . . . que ez ipsius ore audivi, vel a fidelibus et 
pfobatis testibus intellezi . . . verbis licet imperitis studui ezplicare." 

* Gotz, Brieger'a Zeitschrif t , Vol. XXIV, p. 166. Attacking Thomas of Celano 
see Karl MtUler: **Die Anfdnge des MinoriienordenSy* pp. 181 et aeq. Sabatier: 
Speculum perfectionis, pp. 9S-199.; in part Minocchi:' La Legenda irium sod" 
arum, Florence, 1900, pp. 81-85. In support of Celano see Falod in Miscd- 
lanea Fratuxscanat VIII, pp. 140 et aeq., Tilemann: "Specidum perfecUoms 
und Legenda trium sociorumf" Leipzig, 1902, pp. 23-33, <^d GOtz. Sabatier 
also formerly gave Celano a high standing: "He makes an entirely direct 
impression of being honorable and true; if he is partial he does not wish 
to be so, and perhaps does not know it. . . . One feels at every instant re- 
strained emotion, the heart of the writer overcome with the moral beauty of 
bis hero." (Vie de S. Francois, 1894, pp. liv and Ivi.) 

But later Thomas of Celano became for Sabatier a real falsifier, who, to serve 
a bad cause, found every method good (see Speculum perfeciioms, Opuscules 
de critique kistarique, m, p. 70, n. i); now he has become the accomplice of 
Brother Ellas of Cortona and of Cardinal Hugolin and consequently an enemy 
of the Franciscan ideal. ' Yes, Sabatier will in Celano's Vita prima only see an 
answer to Brother Leo's Legenda antiquissimay "the Mirror of Perfection," 
issued in 1227. As will be shown later. Brother Leo, in 1227, had issued no such 
work and the hypothesis falls to the ground. If Thomas had perhaps in his 
first legend, which was written long before the deposition of Ellas of Cortona, 
looked favourably upon this remarkable and imfortunate man, so in his Viia 
secunda, written in 1247, he has given his better views their due expression. 
Far from being a malicious betrayer, Thomas reveals himself as a simple, 
almost naive soul whose principal faUure as a biographer is 'that of being too 
careful a stylist. His picture of St. Francis is essentially the same as we get 
from the Legenda irium sociorum and from the FioretU. (Sabatier, Vie de S. 
Fr., p. Ivi, Gatz, Vol. XXIV, pp. i79» i93-) 



''verbal decoratioiiSy" verborum phalleras, and on long-oontinued 
perusal his work may have a tiresome effect — somewhat in the 
same way as the writings of the highly rhetorical religious authors 
of the seventeenth century in France.^ 

(6) In perfect sequence to Thomas of Celano's VUa prima 
stands Julian of Spder's Legend. Before his entrance into the 
Order Julian was choirmaster with Louis VIII of France; besides 
the Legend he also composed in prose a Nodumale Sancti officmm 
in littera et cantu} He made the acquaintance of Thomas of 
Celano in the General Chapter of 1227. According to Glass- 
berger's Chronide {Afud. Pranc.^ 11, 46) Julian's Legend begins 
with the words Ad hoc quonmdam. But these are precisely the 
first words in the prologue to the BoUandists' so-called '^ second 
biography" of St. Francis, which they had ascribed to John of 
Cq)erano, Notary Apostolic under Gregory IX (see later). 

Julian's work is thus preserved; his prose legend — which does 
not offer much that is new — as well as his rhymed Office, has in 
recent years been an object for deep studies.' 

Julian of Speier died 1250. 

* Cdano's VUa prima was first published by the BoDandists in Ada SamC' 
torumf Oct II (1768), then by Rinaldi, x8o6, and by Amoni, 1880. A new edi- 
tion of all Cdano's works is due to Rev. Edouaid d'Alengon, Historian of the 
Capuchins' Older. 

As Thomas described St Fhmds' canonization, July z6, 1228, but not the 
transfer of his idics to the church of St Frands (Pentecost, 1230), it is natisal 
to place the writing of the Legend between these two dates, especially as the 
above-named Paris manuscript dedares. that Giegocy DC, Fd>ruaiy 25, 1229, 
reodved the Legend and gave it his approvaL From the summer of 1228 to 
March, 1229, the Papal Curia was part of the time in Perugia and part of the 
time in Assisi. THemann (in the work already referred to, p. y>) has cast 
tome doubt upon the note in the P^oisian manuscript. 

* Bernard of Bessa, Liber de UutdSms h. Prancisci: ''In Franda vero feater 
Julianus, sdentia et sanctitate conspicuus, qui etiam noctumale Sancti oflidom 
fai littera et cantu posuit." (Atud. Franc., HI, p. 666.) 

* Julian of Spder's Legend is found in a fragmentary state in the Bollandist's 
biography of St. Frands, A. 55., Oct H, pp. 54^727. A complete edition is 
baaed on new manuscripts in the Analecta BoUandiana, XXI (1902), pp. 160- 
202. As Julian describes the transfer of St Frauds' body to the church of 
St Frands, 1230, but does not mention Brother Elias of Cortona as (jeneral— 
which he became in x'232 — the Legend was probably written in the tnterim. 
(See, however, Anal. Boil., XXI, p. 156, in which its time of oompodtioii is 
placed three years later.) 

Beddes the prose legends we possess the rhymed Office (kistoria as it was 
called in the literary eipression of the Middle Ages). See also J. £. Weis, 
JuUan van Speier (Mttnchen 1900) and "Die ChoHUe Julians von Speier m 
den Reimojfinen des Franciskus- und AnUmiurfestes . . . naek Handschr^kn 
kerausgegAen** (Munidi, 1901). 


(c) The legend in verse (Viia mdrica) formerly was r^arded 
as identical with Julian of Speier's rh3rmed Office or was ascribed 
to an Englishman named John Cantius. Edouard d'Alen^on has 
lately {Misc. Franc., IV, pp. 33-34) pointed out that the author 
of the Vita mdrica is Master Henry of Pisa, the same of whom 
Salimbene so pleasantly writes that he "could write, draw with 
colors, which some call illuminating, write notes, compose veiy 
beautiful songs, both for instruments and voice. ... He was my 
singing teacher in the time of Pope Gregory the Ninth. • . . Brother 
Henry wrote many melodies and many sequences. He wrote 
both text and melody to Ckriste Deus, Ckriste meuSy Ckriste rex et 
domine, suggested by a maid-servant's song, who went through 
the cathedral in Pisa and sang: Etuno cure de me; e no curaro 

(i) Liturgical Legends. The short legends divided into the 
required nine lessons were used for the choral prayer. Thomas 
of Celano himself — and likewise at a later period Bonaventure — 
seemed to have extracted these from his long legend. Denifle 
found a second legend for Utuigical use in a Dominican Book of 
Lessons in Toulouse; the nine lessons belonging to the Feast of 
St. Frands have since been published by d'Alen^n. The most 
remarkable thing about them is perhaps that in the manuscript 
they are declared to be taken from a legend which begins with 
the words Stella maiuiinaf but as Bernard of Bessa states {Anal. 
Pranc.f IH, p. 666), the legend of St. Francis beginning with the 
words Quasi stdla maiuUna was composed by the Notary Apostolic 
John of Ceperano. And according to Celano's Vita prima (pub. 
in Act. SS.y Oct. H, 125) Gregory IX, for his discourse at the 
canonization of St. Francis, had chosen this portion of scripture 
for his text (Ecclesiasticus, Cap. 50, v. 7). It may well be thought 
that the Notary Apostolic had made up his legends about St. 
Francis as a sort of a replica of the Pope's address, and that we 
thus have the remains of it in the Book of Lessons from Toulouse. 
The contents otherwise compares with Celano's Vita prima.* 

* Salimbene, Parma ed., p. 64. The poem was first published by Cristofani 
(Prato, 1882). 

* Edouard d'Alen^n: Spicilegium Pranciscanum. Legenda brevis SancH 
Prancisci nunc primum edita (Romae, 1899). 

Denifle in Arckiv fUr LiU. u. Kg.y I (1885), p. 148. 

For Thomas of Cdano's Legenda hremsy see Papini, NaUsU sicure delta morte 
. . , di S. Pr. d^A. 3* ed. (Foligno, 1824), pp. 239-343. It is preceded by 
a letter to '' Brother Benedict" (of Arezzo? See Sabatier, CaUecHon, Vol. 11, 
p. zliv). 


2. BsoTEER Leo Gkoup 

Among the first disciples there is none who pla3rs a more weighty 
or a more effectual r6ie than Brother Leo for futurity's under- 
standing of St. Francis. 

He was, as ahready noted, his master's secretary, and also his 
confessor and most intimate confidant. In the last years of St 
Francis' life, when God's Poor Little Man from Assisi drew 
back more and more into a contemplative life, it was Leo who 
was the connecting link between him and the surrounding world. 
He was not afraid to go to the master when approach was for- 
bidden to all others. 

It is therefore obvious that this favorite disciple has seen 
and heard much which others neither heard nor saw, and it also 
follows that Brother Leo wished to preserve these his reminiscences 
for after generations. It thus came about that he b^gan to write 
down what the master had said or done — tarn de numdato satuti 
palris quam eUam de devotione praedicH fratris, as Angelo Clareno 
(d. 1337) has rightly seen and said, "as much by conunand of the 
holy father as inspired by the personal devotion Brother Leo 
nourished for St. Francis." ^ For the space of a hundred years, 
down to the days of Hubert of Casale (about 125^1338), Brother 
Leo's descriptions and the legends emanating directly or indirectly 
from him and his circle kept alive the holy fire from the first 
days of the Order in the hearts of the young. 

The legends in which Brother Leo has a direct part are two: 
Legenda trium sociorum and Thomas of Cdano's Vita secunda. 
The three compilations of a later date rest more or less on his 
observations: Speculum perfecUonis, Legenda anliqua, and Actus 
b. Francisci ("Fioretti").^ 

As a companion piece to Legenda trium sociorum comes the 
legend whose author the Bollandists term the '' Anonymous one 
from Perugia," and whom I have also assigned to this group. 

a. Legenda trium sociorum, " The Legend of the 

Three Brothers'' 

Between Celano's first biography of St. Francis and the other 
legends dependent on it and the appearance of the group of writ- 

' ArchivfUr LiU. m. Kirchengesch.f III, p. 168. 

' Furthennore Brother Leo has written a biography of his friend Brother 
Giles (Salimbene, Chronica^ P* 322) and took part in the writing of the Leseod 
of St. Clara. See Cozza Luzi in BoUeUino ddla society umbra di storia patria^ 
Vol. I, pp. 417-426). 


ings which have their origin in Brother Leo of Assisi and his 
friends there is an important occurrence: Brother Elias of Cortona's 
Generalship and abrupt fall.^ Even those who hitherto had been 
adherents of this brilliant man, who was, however, a danger to the 
Order at last, could not avoid seeing what he bore on his shield, 
and that, if he had obtained permission to carry out his own 
ideas, there soon would have been an end of Frandscanism. Due 
to the influence of the recognition of this fact, so powerfully 
impressed by the Pope's anathema against Elias, it is that refuge 
was sought in a return to the spirit of olden times. At the General 
Chapter in Genoa, 1244, it was determined to invite all who had 
anything to tell about St. Francis to collect their recollections 
and send them in to the newly chosen General of the Order, Cres- 
centius of Jesi. 

As a consequence of this invitation there came two years later 
from the little convent of Grecdo in the valley of Rieti a selection 
of such sketches, written down by three dose friends of St. Frands; 
namdy, Brother Leo and Brother Rufino, both of Assisi, together 
with Brother Angdo Tancredi from Rieti. A letter which accom- 
panied these papers, addressed to Crescentius and dated August, 
1246, named as additional collaborators in the work a number 
of the first Brothers of the Order, such as Brother Philip, the 
Clares' Visitator, Brother lUuminato from Rieti, Brother Masseo 
' from Marignano, together with another otherwise unknown 
Brother John, who joined in the work because he had known 
intimatdy Brother Bernard of Quintavalle (d. 1242) and Brother 
Giles (Lat. Egidius) — the first two disdples who had joined St. 

In the letter the authors expressed themsdves in the following 
way on the scope of thdr work: 

^'We who, althoiigh imworthy of it, have lived for a long time 
along with St. Francis, have, with truth for our guide, wished to 
present to your Holiness" — i.e., Crescentius — "a selection of 
his many actions which we have dther seen oursdves or have 
obtained through other Brothers, especially" (here follow the 

^ It will undoubtedly be of interest to have a Ust of the first Generals of the 
Order at hand. I thmfore give them here: 

Vicars (while St. Francis lived): Pietro dei Cattani, September 39, z^ao- 
March xo, 1221, when he died. Elias of Cortona succeeded and was Vicar to 
June z6 Q^enteoost), 1227. Generals: Johannes Parent!, June 16, Z227-Z332; 
Elias of Cortona, 1232-1239; Albert of Pisa, 1259; Aymon of Faversham, 1240- 
1244; Crescentius of Jesi, 1244-1247; John of Parma, 1247^x257; St. B<ma- 
venture, 1257-1274. 


names. The origiiial text, as one will see bdow, has the words 
per alios sandos fratres, "through other Holy Brothers/' Tlie 
difficulty, which is due to the fact that Leo, Angelo and Rufino 
first speak of themselves and then of ''other" holy Brothers, is 
solved perhi^ best by taking sandos as in apposition to fraires 
and to understand it thus: "through other Brothers; namely, the 
holy Brother Philip," etc. But if one was in doubt about the 
authenticity of the letter, I would affirm that this expression, 
''Brother Leo, Brother Rufino and Brother Angelo wrote it down," 
migbt make one suspect a falsifier, who unwittingly betrayed him- 
self by having the authors of the L^end sign themselves for that 
which they were in the eyes of him, a writer of a later period: 
sandi fraires,^) 

"It is not sufficient for us" — thus the writers go on to say — 
^'to tell of miracles alone, of which indeed holiness does not con- 
sbt, but which can indicate its presence,^ but we wish to show the 
holy way of living and pious regard and desires of our most holy 
father Francis, to the praise and glory of the highest God and to 
the edification of those who will follow after him. Which, how- 
ever, we do not wish to write in the form of a l^end, as there are 
already written legends of his life and the works of wonder which 
the Lord let him perform. But we have plucked the flowers in 
the meadow which seemed to us the fairest; we do not offer 
therefore a continuous story, for we have omitted much which in 
the above-named legends is written both truthfully and in good 
style; and if it meets your approval our little work can be added 
thereto. We believe, indeed, that if the honorable gentlemen 
who wrote the above-named legends had known what we now 
are about to tell, they would not have let it pass by, but would 
have desired to have written down at least a part thereof in their 
beautiful style, and thus handed it down to the memory of coming 

* The word satictos we may believe was ioaerted by a copyist. The Brothers 
themselves never gave the Legend the title Legenda trium sociorumf as it is 
now found in the manuscripts. 

' This expression is from Thomas of Celano; miracidat quae sanctiialem na» 
faeUi$U, sed ostendunt, he says in his Vila prima, I, p. i6. 

* Reverendo m Christo patri fratri Creaoentio, Dei gratia Generali ministio, 
frater Leo, frater Ruffinus et frater Angelus, olim socii, licet indigni, beatissimi 
patris Frandsd, revefentiam in Domino debitam et devotam. 

Cum de mandato proximi praefeeriti capituli genenlis et vestro teneaatur 
iiaties signa et prodigia beatissimi patris Frandsd, quae scire vd repe rir e 
powunt, vestrae patemitati dirigere; visum est nobis, qui secum licet indigm 
fnfanus diutius converaati, pauca de multis gestis ipsius, quae per noa vidimus 


This preface is found in all the fourteen manuscripts of the 
Legend which have been preserved for us, and of which the oldest 
belongs to the last quarter of the foiuteenth century. There are 
also found five manuscripts of the Legend in Italian translations. 

All these manuscripts present the highly impressive peculiarity 
that the writing, the Legend, which in all of them follows the pref- 
ace, and which in nearly all of them is practically the same, does 
not seem on a little closer examination to answer to what we had 
a right to expect from this work according to the authors' own 
statements. In the preface the reader is promised, not a descrip- 
tion of the life, but a collection of flowers; not a continuous relation 
like that of Thomas of Celano or of Julian of Speier, but various 
minor traits of the pious ways of St. Francis, and finally nothing 
we already knew from earlier works, but absolutely new things 
never before published — de VinidUy as the French say. If Thomas 
of Celano had been St. Frands' Plato, the Brothers should now 
want to write a collection of Memorabilia in the spirit of Xenophon. 
Had the poet of Dies ira been the great follower of Christ, John, 
they would have wished to write his Logia. 

Chie had every right to expect all this from the Three Brothers' 
Legend — and what do we find there? Almost exactly the oppo- 
site! Of the eighteen chapters of the Legend the first eight 
concern themselves with the history of Frands' youth and con- 

ve! per alios sanctos fratres scire potuimus, et spedaliter per fratrem Philippum 
visltatorem pauperum Dominarum, fratrem Illuminatum de Reate, fratrem 
Maaseum de Marignano, et fratrem Joannem, sodum venerabilis fratris iEgidil, 
qui plura de his habuit de eodem sancto fratre iEgidio et sanctae memoriae 
iratre Bernardo, primo socio beati Frandsd, sanctitati vestrae, veritate praevia, 
intimare; non content! narrare solum miraoda, quae sanctitatem non fadunt, 
sed ostendunt, sed etiam sanctae conversationis dus insignia et pii benepladti 
voluntatem ostendere cupientes, ad laudem et gloriam summi Dd et dicti patris 
sanctiasimi, atque aedificationem volentium vestigia dus imitari. Quae tamen 
per modum l^^dae non scribimus, cum dudum de vita sua et miraculis quae 
per eum Dominus operatus est, sint confectae legendae. Sed velut de amoeno 
prato quofidam flores, qui arbitrio nostro sunt pulchriores, excerpimus con^ 
tmuantem historiam non sequentes, sed multa seriose relinquentes, quae in 
piBcdictis kgendis sunt podta tam veridico quam luculento sermone; quibus 
haec pauca, quae scribimus, poteritis facere inseri, si vestra discretio viderit 
esse iustum. Credimus enim, quod si venerab libus viris, qui praefatas oon- 
fecerunt legendas haec nota fuissent, ea minime praeterissent, nisi saltem pro 
parte ipsa suo decorasaent doquio, et posteris ad memoriam reliquissent. 
Semper integre valeat vestra sancta patemltas in Domino Jesu Christo, in 
quo DOS fiUos vcstros devotos sanctitati vestrae reconmiendamus humiliter et 
devote. Data in loco Graedi, III idibus augusti, anno Domini MCCXLVI 
(4cia 55., Oct. II, p. 723.) 


version. The next four treat of the reception of the first deven 
Brothers into the Order, the tribulations in the earliest days of 
the Order, and Innocent Hi's approval of the Rules. In the next 
two chapters is a sketch of the fii^t convent and the way in which 
the Chapters of the Order were held. The fifteenth chapter tells 
of the death of the first Protector of the Order and the draice of a 
new one, the sixteenth of the Brothers' first departure on a Euro- 
pean mission. Two concluding chapters — which, moreover, in one 
of the manuscripts are put into one — contain finally the descrip- 
tion of Frands' death, of his stigmatization (in this inverted order) 
and canonization, and this brings the Legend of the Three Brothers 
to an end. It must be remarked that this text is almost the 
absolute reverse of the author's promise in the letter. to Cres- 
centius. The Brothers had wished to bring a collection of flowers 
— and here we stand before a legend which, if incomplete, is in 
good chronological sequence. They had wished to .bring new 
material, and here, although with many characteristic additions 
and minor features, is told the same history of the merchant's son 
from Assisi, of his conversion and life with his first disdples, all 
which we already knew from Thomas of Cdano and Julian of 
Speier. Here were missing finally the whole mass of little traits 
from St. Frauds' inner life, all that which the author had promised 
under the name sanctae conoersaiionis eius insignia, and which one 
could expect from those who, ''although unworthy thereof," had 
been with him in his most sacred moments, in his most secret 
hours, who had followed him to the grotto at Fonte Colombo, 
where he with fast and prayer wrote the Rule of the Order, and 
who at his side had climbed up Mt. Alvema and had seen him 
come down therefrom, marked on hands and feet by the mirade 
of the Lord! Was this really all that the whole body of Frauds' 
most trusted friends — Leo, Rufino, Angelo, Bernard, Philip, 
Sluminato, Masseo and Giles — could tell the world about thdr 
beloved master and glorified spiritual father? For that the two 
miserable chapters at the end could not pass for a fulfilment of 
the promises of the preface, and that they even did not originally 
belong to the Legend, is evident from the difference in style and 
their undoubted dependence on Bonaventure's book of 1263 on 
St. Frands. These two chapters were clearly enough only writtoi 
as a makeshift — as one temporarily throws boards over a house 
that has not been suffidently advanced in building to resist the 
coming of winter. 
The Three Brothers' Legend, as it lies bdore us in manuscript, 


deems also to have been a fragment. But how could it have been 
that? Is it conceivable that the Brothers .became weary of their 
work when half-finished, that they were tired, that they did not 
desire to finish the wreath of flowers in honor of St. Francis, which 
was to be woven around the Master's name a hundred years later 
by other hands, by him or by them who wrote FioreUi ? 

The matter stood thus undecided, when the Bollandist Suysken 
in 1768, in the second October section of the Acta Sanctorumypulh 
lished the Three Brothers' Legend according to a manuscript in 
Louvain. The question stood as before — or rather it was not 
disposed of. All manuscripts contain the Legend in this form — 
who then could form any other conclusion than that we have here 
not only the authentic but also the complete work? 

And yet there was one thing which pointed in the other direc- 
tion. In Wadding, the celebrated Irish annalist who wrote in the 
first quarter of the seventeenth century, and also in the Floren- 
tine chronicler, Mariano (d. 1527), used by him, quotations 
from the Three Brothers' Legend occur several times, which are 
not found in the text published by the Bollandists. Suysken 
satisfies himself with the idea that Wadding may have quoted 
wrongly, but the thought also was in his mind that Wadding (or 
his source Mariano) might have known another Legenda trium 
sociorum than the only one which was now before him.^ 

In these quotations of Wadding it is remarkable that several of 
them seem to be so good that they would accord with a legend 
of the quality which would be expected from their hands after 
the Brothers' letter to Crescentius. There was, for example, a 
description of how St. Francis in his eagerness for poverty wanted 
to tear down a house with his own hands, which the citizens of 
Assisi during his absence had built for the use of the Brothers. 
There was another tale of how Francis, in the face of Cardinal 
Hugolin, refused to assent to the Brothers in his Order holding 
Church preferments. In a third place Wadding relates that 
Francis in Bologna, in the same way as at Portiuncula, commanded 
all the Brothers to desert the convent which was built for them. 
Finally, following always the Three Brothers' Legend, we are told 
how St. Frands in his last moments had greeted death with the 
words: "Be welcome. Sister Death." * 

1 Omnino oportet Waddingum habuisse Legendam, trium sodonim nomine 
(forte non recte) inscriptam, diversam a nostro; aut, quod verisimilius est, 
eosdem ab aliis perperam dtatos legisse. A. SS., Oct. II, p. 858, n. 338. 

s Wadding, Annales^ 1218, n. 10, 1219, n. 1-2, 1220, n. 15, 1224, n. 28. See 
also I3IO, n. 49, and 12 19, n. 3. 


With these and many other similar extracts before our eyes it 
was impossible that one or another would not finally recollect 
those words in the letter of the Brothers from Grecdo concerning 
St. Frands' devout conduct of life. Quotations in Wadding gave 
a brief conmientary both on one or the other of these expressions, 
for what was Frauds' "pious intentions/' his pit beneplaciH 
voluntasy other than the adherence to the evangelical poverty, 
whose devoted lover he showed himself both during the occur* 
rences in Bologna and the inddents at Portiuncula? 

Led by such and similar indications it was that Paul Sabatier, 
in his study of the Bollandists' work on St. Frauds, came to the 
condusion that the Three Brothers' L^;end as it exbts in the 
manuscripts was really a fragment, a torso. In his Vie de SaitU 
PranQois d^ Assise (Paris, 1894) he writes on page bdii: ''It is 
dear that the Three Brothers' L^end, as we now have it, is only 
a fragment of the original, which, without doubt, was put together, 
arranged, and much abridged by the authorities of the Order 
before it was put into circulation." And he remarks, too, that 
Crescentius of Jesi, to whom it was sent, was not the most zealous 
adherent of the intransigent Frandscamsm, such as Leo and his 
friends upheld. 

Sabatier was here — as so often — unjustly su^idous. The 
state of affairs was that the L^end's incompleteness was wdl 
known, and Sabatier had, moreover, the happy fortune in a late 
Franciscan work of compilation of nearly finding the missing 
part of the Three Brothers' Legend. 

The question concerned the work written about 1445 and first 
issued in Venice, 1504, Speculum vUae S. Francisci ei sociarum ^us. 
Out of this formless book Sabatier threw out a whole quantity of 
material of all sorts — chapters of St. Bonaventure, devout memo- 
randa of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, a whole quantity of chapters 
which appeared to be the Latin text of the PiaretU^ some Franciscan 
prayers, with much dse. What was now left strongly recall in 
style and thought the Three Brothers' Legend. And what made 
him certain of his case was that in this heart of the Speculiun 
there occurred no less than nineteen times an expression in whidi 
the authors constantly referred to themselves and which reads: 
nos qui cum ipso fuimus, "we who were with him." For was not 
this predsdy the same which the Three Brothers in their letters 
to Crescentius had used to designate themselves — that it was 
they who, in spite of their unworthiness, had known St. Frands 
the longest and the best, visum est nobiSj qui secum licet i 


fuimus dUttius comer saii ? The coinddence of the two expressions 
was striking and convincing for Sabatier. There is found in the 
printed Speculum vUae (from Folio 86 to Folio 136a) imdoubtedly 
a considerable portion of the missing pages of the Legend.^ 

Full of these thoughts, it next happened that Sabatier, in the 
Mazarin Library in Paris, fotmd a manuscript, No. 1743, in which 
the very chapters which he himself separated from the Speculum 
viiae are found joined together imder the title Speculum perfecUonis 
frairis minariSf "Mirror of Perfection of The Friar Minor." How 
Sabatier was led by this discovery into new paths, how he, with a 
copyist's error in Uie dating of the manuscript as a starting point, 
developed a whole theory about the Speculum perfectumis as the 
oldest Franciscan legend, written in May, 1227, in Portiuncula 
by Brother Leo — to this we will refer later. In fact he was right, 
as far as he, in the Legends of the Speculum, saw the remains of 
the complete Legenda irium sociorum. And from this foundation 
the task of reproducing the Legend was also taken up by two 
Italians, students of St. Francis, the two Franciscans Marcdlino da 
Civezza and Teofilo Domenichelli. Their work, which appeared 
in Rome, 1889,* had the following interesting history. 

About the year 1855 Stanislao Melchiorri, then Annalist of the 
Franciscan Order, received a very old manuscript sent him as con- 
taining an Italian translation of the Legend of Uie Three Brothers. 
On comparing this translation with the BoUandists' edition of 
the original text (and with Rinaldi's edition of 1831), it appeared 
that the Italian legend in the first place did not have the last two 
chapters of these editions, and in the second place offered in their 
stesid a whole quantity of highly important additions. Carried 
away as Melchiorri was in the prevalent view of the Legend, as 
only identical with the fragment contained in the manuscript, he 
regarded these additions as interpolations and edited them with 
a preface, in which he declared that the translator, in order to 
complete the Legend, had added to it a nimiber of chapters, taken 
from Thomas of Celano, St. Bonaventure, Bartholomew of Pisa 
and others. But he could not maintain this theory of the origin 
of the individual portions.* 

* Sabatier: Vie de S, Fr.^ pp. Ixx-lxxi. 

' La Leggenda di S. Francesco, scritta da tre suoi compagni (Legenda irium 
sociorum) pubblicata per la prima volta nella vera sua integriUL dai Padri 
Marcellino da Civezza e Teofilo Domenichelli dei Minori. Roma, MDCCCXCDC 

' The book appeared in 1856 in Recanati with the title, Leggenda di S, Fran- 
cesco d^A ssisi scritta daUi suoi compagni eke tutt*hora conversavano con lui. In 1 863 
it was published in Fiance with the less correct title, Ligende de 5. Francois 


According to a note in the manuscript, the legend was written 
in the year 1557 by the oratorian, Murio Achillei, after another 
much older manuscript.^ Muzio is known in history as a disciple 
of St. Philip Neri and a friend of the church-historian Baronius, 
who often made use of his assistance. 

The language from the chronological standpoint might be 
assigned to the same period as the FioreUi; Zambrini, who was 
misled by the editor's mistaken conception of the date of the 
work as being later than the day of Bartholomew of Pisa (1385), 
could not help finding "much of the simplicity of the fourteenth 
century therein.'' * In reality the language of the translation with 
its frequefit Latinisms, its Latin use of the subjunctive after 
quando (where the Italian now has the indicative), bears the dear 
imprint of a century when the new language of the people had 
not freed itself from Latin influence. 

And now it appeared, that with this translation as a basis, 
it was possible to attempt a reconstruction of the Latin Three 
Brothers' Legend in its integrity. The often servile fidelity of 
the translator, that led him to repeat the Latin text word for word, 
made the work easy. The majority of the work was — as was to 
be expected — to be found in the Speculum perfecHonis brought 
to the light by Sabatier (the French scholar's edition of this work, 
1898, gave great assistance). By a simple translation of the 
Italian l^end into Latin, there appeared a whole quantity of 
chapters which either plainly agreed with the text in the Speculum 
or at any rate originated therefrom. Sixteen of the seventy-nine 
chapters of the Melchiorri legends were identical with Chapters 
I-XVI in the manuscript legend, fifty-seven agreed with chapters 
in the Speculum perfedionis, only six could have been derived 
from other sources, apparently from Thomas of Celano. 

That the Three Brothers thus in minor part had copied one or 
several of the earlier biographies of St. Frands was not remark- 
able; they had done this and in a much greater degree in what I, 

d* Assise par ses trois compagnons; manuscrit du XII Pe sUcU pMU pour Ic 
premise fats (/) par M. Vabhi Symon de LatrcUhe. A second ediUon of this 
translation appeared in 1865 (Paris, Lethielleux). 

^ The notice reads: 

Ad lectorem. Superiora hsec divi Francisd gesta e vetustiori quodam 
codice manu mea descripsi Mutius Achilleus (a) Sancto Severino, rogatu 
venerandi Patris Felicis . . . recentioris Ordinis Frandscanorum (quos Ca- 
pucdnos appellant). Septemped. anno a Christi Salvatoris Nostri natalibus 
MDLXXVII, VIII Kai. ianuarii. 

'sente molto della semplidUl del trecento. (2^mbrini: Le opere vdgan 
a stampa dei secoU XIII e XIV, £d. 4, Bologna, 1884, p. 563.) 


hereafter, will call the first part of their l^end (Capp. I-XVI). 
It is still more remarkable to see how completely the second part 
of the l^end now fowid or rediscovered answered to what the 
Three Brothers had promised in the letter to Crescentius. Here 
they write in most characteristic detail what they and no other had 
seen and heard, here they over and over again repeat their nos 
qui cum eo fuimus, "we who were with him," here we have the 
light and perfume of the flowers from the oak woods of Umbria, 
from the loneliness of the valley of Rieti, from the cliffs of Mt. 
Alvema, as the Brothers had promised. A glance at the titles of 
the chapters was enough to show, that here were really found all 
those relations of St. Frands' "devout conduct of Ufe" and 
"pbus intentions," whose existence we had only been able to 
suspect hitherto through references of Mariano and Wadding. 

All this, however, did not say that the attempts at reconstruction 
of da Civezza and Domenichelli should be regarded as completely 
successful. As Tiiemann ^ has remarked, the reconstructed chap- 
ters were of a more meagre, more condensed, less freely descriptive 
character than the existing pieces in the Speculum perfectianis. 
One is tempted to lay the blune for this on Uie old Italian trans- 
lator, whom we can suppose now and then to have lightened his 
work by condensing the narrations. What else was there to pre- 
vent one from inserting chapters from the Speculum in those places 
where the Italian text makes it evident that they belonged in the 
original l^end? 

A question still remains: How did it come about that the Three 
Brothers' Legend has thus been divided into two halves, of which 
the one invariably appears in all the manuscripts accompanied 
by the preface, which, in consequence of the division, so poorly 
suits it, while the other half portion has led, as it were, a subter- 
ranean existence and only in the most recent 6xy% has come out 
into the Ught? The answer to this question can be better given 
in connection with the treatment of Thomas of Celano's Vita 

Here we can only refer to the fact that this work in more recent 
times, contemporaneous with the production of the Three Brothers' 
Legend in its full scope, has raised for itself critical and — it may as 
well be said — hypercritical voices, that desired to rob the beauti- 
ful old legend of all its value. It is especially the BoUandist, van 
Ortroy, who, with an incredible display of learning, has sought to 

* Heinrich TSlemaiiii: " Speculum peffedianis und Legenda trium sociommf'* 
LetpMC, zgoa, pp. 134-148. 


show that the Legenda trium sociorum was a oompilatioii in which 
such late authors as Bonaventure (1263) and Bernard of Bessa 
(about 1290) were utilized. The letter to Crescentius, according 
to van Ortroy, certainly does not belong where it now stands, but 
on the other hand belongs to Thomas of Celano's Vita seamda, 
which upon the whole should be the Three Brothers' L^end. 
This inexpressibly unreasonable hypothesis was powerfully advo- 
cated by Paul Sabatier, but has found an adversary in the present 
Annalist of the Franciscan Order, P. Leonard Lemmens. Another 
Catholic Franciscan researcher, S. Minocchi, sees in the Legenda 
trium sociorum the missing work of John of Ceperano. His l^end 
begins, namely (see page 355), with the words Quasi Stella moMma^ 
and only one of the manuscripts of the Three Brothers' L^end 
has a prologue b^;inning with these words.^ Other more recent 
zeseardiers, such as Falod-Pulignani, stand firmly on the old 
ground, that the first part is the whole of the l^end, and this, 
although in the edition brought out by Falod after a manuscript 
in Foligno of the Three Brothers' Legend, outside of the sixteen 
traditionally accepted chapters and the two unaccepted and 
added ones, there are still found two chapters of the second part 
of the legend, namely, one ''of the Names of the twelve first 
Brothers" (Da Civezza-Domenichelli, Cap. XII) and one concern- 
ing the Portiuncula indulgence (Cap. XLIX, same work, in a 
slightly different form). Da Civezza and Domenichelli finally 
weaken their position by following Sabatier in his Speculum 
theories, so that they and their introduction to the Legend treat 
the Three Brothers' Legend of 1246 as little more than a copy of 
what Leo alone had already written in 1227. Even so conservative 
a critic as Gdtz, who on the whole is friendly to tradition, r^ards 
the authenticity of the Legend as impaired; but he does not deny 
that both in the Legenda trium sociorum as well as in the work of 
the nearly related anonymous writer from Perugia there is found 
valuable material, though, according to his view, material of the 
second rank.' 

^ Prafidgidus tU lucifer d sictU stdla matutinal imo quasi sol oriems (MS. Vatic., 
7539)* Quasi sUUa matutina is not found here a single time, but always siad^ 
(See Da Civezza-Domenichelli, p. 4, n. x. Tilemann, pp. 125-133.) 

■Van Ortroy, Analecta BoUani., XIX (1900), pp. 1 19-197; Sabatier, Rewm 
Idstorique, LXXV (1901); Minocchi, Archmo storico «ta/., XXIV, pp. 349-363, 
and Nuovi Studi (1900), pp. 100 et seq.; Lemmens, DocumetUa ankquaframc^ 
I (Quaracchi, 1901), pp. 26-27; Falod-Pulignani, S. Franctstd Lege$ida trium 
sociorumt Fulginice (1898)1 et La Leggenda^ etc., Rome, 1899 pp. kxxzti; 
G6U, Brieger's Zdtachr. f. Kgsch., XXV (1904)1 PP- 34» 36-37, 4a 


b. Anonymus Perusinus 

When the Bollandists in their time oommenced their studies of 
the history of St. Francis, they had, among other things on which 
to exercise their judgment, a manuscript from Perugia, out of 
which they had formerly extracted a biogn^y of the third dis- 
cq>le of St. Francis of Assisi, Brother Giles. (Acta Sanctorum^ 
April 23.) In this manuscript there is now found also a biography 
of St. Francis, and as the Legend of Giles was undoubtedly a Work 
of Brother Leo,^ Ps^lebroch believes that the legend of St Francis 
may also be attributed to him. 

In reality this l^end offers numerous and dose points of com- 
parison with the Legenda trium sodarum. Even the title and 
preface remind us of this work; these are given here: 

''Of the origin and doings of the Friars Minor who were the first 
in the Order and faithful friends (socii) of St. Francis. 

''In order that the servants of the Lord may not be ignorant 
of the ways and the doctrine of holy men, by which it is possible 
to progress to God, so have I, who have seen their actions, heard 
thdr words and also been their disciple, related and compiled 
several of the doings of our most holy Brother Francis and of some 
of the other Brothers in the beginning of the Order." * These 
words indicate a disciple of the first disdples. Now we know that 
Brother Giles lived in the convent of Monte Ripido near Perugia 
until his death on April 23, 1261; was it therefore unreasonabie 
to see in the author of the anonymous legend a young Brother who 
— like Ubertino of Casale in Greccio with John of Parma — sat 
early and late at the feet of the Franciscan veteran "and heard 
his word from his holiest mouth and looked into his angelic coim- 
tenance"? * Thus already had many Brothers even from distant 
England sat in Portitmcula at the feet of the old Brother Leo and 
heard him tell of the perfect joy, and how he and St. Francis had 

^Salimbene, Ckromca, p. 323. 

*I>e inoepdone et actibus illonim fratnim minorum, qui fuenint primt in 
rdigione et socii beat! Frandsd. 

QaoQiam send Domini non debent ignorare viam et doctrinam sanctorum 
viionim . . . ideo ad honorem Domini et aedificationem legentium et audien- 
tittm ego, qui acta eorum vidi, verba audivi, qitr^rum etiam disdpulua fui, 
aliqua de actibus beatissimi fratris nostri Frandsd et aliquonim fratrum qui 
venenmt in prindpio religionis, narravi et OMnpilavi, prout mens mea divinitus 
fuit docta. 

Atumymus Perusinus is partly given in Acta Sanctorum^ Oct. 11, pp. 549-560, 
and completely by v. Ortcoy in Miscellanea Francescana IX (1903), pp. 33-48. 

' Ubertino of Casale, Arbor vitae crucifixae (Venice, 1485), lib. V, cap. III. 


the same Breviary. The words they thus heard from the older 
Brothers were written down.^ We possess still several of these 
collections, "Words of Brother Giles," "Words of Brother Leo," 
"Words of Conrad of Offida," and we later find similar notes 
among the sources of the Speculum pcffectionis, in whose intro- 
duction we accordingly find the following: "This Work is com- 
piled from what the friends of St. Francis wrote or had written 
in different convents."^ There is certainly nothing to hinder 
us from seeing in Ananymus PeruHnus (the anonymous writer 
of Perugia) a repetition of Brother Giles' recollections, and un- 
doubtedly the work, when we omit the preface, can also be regarded 
as an extract from or, as G5tz prefers, a sketch of, the Three 
Brothers' Legend. With his usual radicalism van Ortroy has 
thrown out the preface as a forgery intended to give authority to 
the work.' The anon3anous writer did his work after 1290, for 
Bernard of Bessa's Legend is referred to in it. But Brother Giles 
died April 23, 1261. 

c. Thomas of Cdano's Vita secunda 

In many manuscripts the Legenda irium sociorum is introduced 
by the foUowing words: Haec sunt quaedam scripta per ires socios 
beati Franciscif "These are some things written by three com- 
panions of blessed Francis." Leo, Angelo and Rufino had sent 
their work to Crescentius of Jesi, as scripta, as written documents, 
not as legends. And now what use did he make of the incom- 
parably valuable material that thus came into his hands? With 
the complete Legenda irium sociorum before one it is easy to answer 
this query. The three Socii had written in their preface, that "if 
the honored men who had written the foregoing legends had 
known these things, they would not have passed them by, but 
would have adorned them in their own beautiful style." ^ There 

^ Ista scripsit frater (jarynus de Sedendeld ab ore fratris Leonis. (Ecde- 
Bton, And, Fr,, I, p. 245.) Supererant adhuc multi de sodis . . . de quibns 
ego vidi et ab ipsis audivi quae narro (Angelo Clareno, ca. i34S'i337i Ckrom. 
TribtdationuM, quoted in Spec, perf., ed. Sab., p. LXXDC, n. i). Hanc his- 
toriam habuit frater Jacobus de Massa ab ore fratris Leonis (Actus B. PranUsd, 
IX, 71). See also the interpolation between chapters 71 and 73 of Spec, per- 
fectioms and Actus b. Pr^ cap. 65. 

• Sabatier's ed., p. 250. 

» G6tz, vol. XXV, pp. 40-47- V. Ortroy, Anal, BoU., XIX, p. 12^ 

* Si venerabilibus viris qui praefatas confecerunt legendas, hec nota hnasent 
ea minimc praeterissent, quin . . . sua decorassent eloquio. 


can be no doubt that they here were thinking of Thomas of 
CelanOy whose diction they also in another place in the preface 
had characterized as ''truth-inspiring as well as lucid." ^ And 
Crescentius followed this hint — he handed over to Thomas of 
Celano the Three Brothers' work for revision. The result of this 
was Celano's Vita secunda, which to all intents and purposes is 
the Legenda irium sociorum ''decorated/' i.e., improved in style. 
Even in the preface we can see how the Brothers' simple words 
concerning their relation to the manuscript appear in improved 
style and amplified sentences.' And Thomas of Celano r^arded 
himself as the Three Brothers' interpreter to this degree, that the 
l^end is not produced as one of his works — he is mentioned in 
the prologue only as the author of the later written legends — but 
as a work of the Brothers. It is they who, without naming them- 
selves, are writing the preface in the plural number; to them 
Crescentius gave the commission that they, out of their long 
intoxourse with St. Francis, should write down his gesta and 
dickif his action and words: it is they who apologize for their low 
ability, being only ignorant men. At any rate their prologue 
doses with a real Cdano-like touch, a flattering pun on die name 
of Crescentius of Jesi.' 

That it was Brother Thomas of Cdano who applied his pen to 
the work, is not only perfectly dear on the basb of these internal 
criticisms; it is shown by a series of proofs that we cannot reject. 
Thus we have in Salimbene, whose dironide was written 1283- 
1284 and who had known both Bernard of Quintavalle and Brother 
Leo: (Crescenti\is) "ordered Brother Thomas of Celano, who had 
written the first legend of blessed Frands, that he should write 
another book, because many things had been found out about 
the blessed Francis which had not been written, and he wrote a 
very beautiful book, which he called MemoriaU beoH Prancisci in 

^ lam veiidico quam luculento sermone. 

' Tres Socii in preface: Sanctm amoersalionis ejus insigma et pii henefiacHi 
wjltmtaUm oslendere cupienUs. While we read in the Prologue of Celano: 
Ezperimere intendimus et vigilant! studio dedaraie que sanctissimi patris tain 
in se quam in suis fuerit voluntas bona, beneplacens, et perfecta in omni ex- 
erdtio disdplinie coelestis et sumnue perfectionis studio. 

* Placuit sanctse universitati olim capituU generalis et vobis, reverendissime 
pater . . . parvitati nostrae in jungere, ut gesta vel etiam dicta gloriosi patris 
nostri Frandsd nos quibus ez assidua conversatione illius et mutua famili- 
aritate plus ceteris diutinis experimentis innotuit ad consolationem prcaentium 
et posterorum memoriam scriberemus. . . . Memoria nostra vdut hominiun 
mdium. . . . Ut ea que benedicta vestro judido docto probantur, cum nomine 
vestio vere Crescentio crescant ubique. . . . Prologue to Vita secunda. 


desiderio animae" ^ But the legend which under the name of 
Vila secunda is ascribed to Thomas of Celano b^ins as follows: 
Incipit fnemoriale in desiderio aninue de gesiis ei verbis sanctissifm 
pairis nostri Prancisci. (Amoni's edition, Rome, iS8o, pp. 7 et 
seq.) Furthennore, Jordanus of Giano in the Chronicle, which 
he in 1262 as an old man dictated to Brother Balduin of Branden- 
burg ip the convent in Halberstadt, expressly names Thomas of 
Celano as author both of a first and then of a second l^end of 
St. Frauds.^ And in the work of Brother Arnold of Serrano, 
Chronica XXIV generalium (before 1369), as well as in Nidiolas 
Glassberger's Chronicle (completed 1491), both of which are founded 
on important, now partly vanished, sources, this view is re- 

As. a last addition to these proofs of Thomas of Celano's 
authorship or co-operation with the Brothers, who had best 
known St. Francis, we have the beautiful prayer with which 
the Viia secunda ends, and in which the Brothers (socn) 
invoked their sainted father and called down his blessing on 

^Hic praeoepit fratri Tliomae de Cdano, qui primam Legendam beati 
Frandsd fecerat, ut iterum sciiberet alium libnim, eo quod multa invenie- 
bantur de beato Francisco, quae scripta non erant. £t scripsit pulcfaerrimimi 
libnim, tarn de minunilis quam de vita, quern appellavit: Memoriale bead 
Frandsd in desiderio animae. Salimbene, Chronica, Parma, 1857, p. 60. 

' et Thoma de Celano qui legendam sancti Frandsd et primam, et aecundun 
postea, coDscripsit. Jordanus in Analecta Pranciscanay voL I, Quaraccfai, X8S7, 
p. 8. 

* Frater Crescentius autem, Generalis Minister, prsBcepit universis fratribus, 
quod sibi in scriptb mitterent quidquid de vita et prodigiis sancti Frandsd 
veradter sdrent. . . . Item, dus mandato indued, frater Leo, confessor bead 
Frandsd, frater Angelus et frater Rufinus, quondam sodi reverendi Patris, 
multa, qu« de ipso Patre beato viderant et a fide dignis fratribus, viddket 
Philippo Longo, lUuminato et Massaso de Marignano et a fratre lohanne, sodo 
sancd patris iEgidii, audierunt, per modum legends in scriptis redegenmt et 
ddem Generali transmisenmt. Alii etiam plurimi qu» noverant lecoUegerunt, 
et sic multa magnalia, quae Sanctus in diversis orbis pardbus fecerat, fuenmt 
publicata. Et posimodum ex mandato eiusdem Generalis Ministri et generalis 
capituli compilavit frater Thomas de Ceperano (Celano) primum tractatum 
legends sancd Frandsd, de vita sdlicet et verbis et intendone dus drca ea 
quae ad regulam perdnent; quae didtiu: Legenda Andqua, quam dicto Generali 
et capitulo desdnavit cum prologo qui indpit: ''Placuit sanctK univenitad 
vestne.'* Glassberger, And. Franc., tom. II, pp. 68H59. As appears fn»n the 
preceding page, note 3, the Preface of Celano's ViSa secunda begins with the 
exact word dted by Glassberger. The posimodum, italicized by me. gives a 
good connecdon between the Document and Thomas of Celano's work. See 
also Bernard of Bessa (ca. 1290) in Anal. Franc. , III, 666, and Chronica XXIV 
fieneralium. Anal. Franc., Ill, 276. 


"this thy aon who now and formerly wrote piously in thy 
honor," and who "together with us offers and dedicates 
to thee this little work."^ Only Thomas of Celano can be 
seen in this reference. That the poet of Dies irae — as Sabatier, 
prejudiced against him, would have it — should have himself 
invented this prayer to give thereby to his work the most reli- 
able possible character, this is — as G6tz has said — to ix>stu- 
late a spiritual impossibility.^ What should Thomas and the 
milder party represented by him, according to Sabatier, have 
gained thereby, since the Vita secunda in spite of all collab- 
oration eictols the true Frandscanism, the absolute ideals from 
the first days of the Order, just as strongly as does the Legenda 
trium sociarum ? 

The l^end which Thomas of Celano sent to Crescentius and 
which therefore was written in the course of less than one year 
(August 12, 1246, date of the completion of the Three Brothers' 
Legend, July, 1247, date of Crescentius' removal from the general- 
ship), consists of two parts, each with its prologue; the second 
part, which has the wider scope, is furthermore divided into two 

We should now expect a dear parallelism between these 
two parts of Cdano's new work and the two parts of the 
Legenda Mum sociarum. The first part of Celano's biography 
of St. Francis answers with great exactitude to the fiirst part of 
the Three Brothers' Legend (bdow is a comparison of these 

^ Viia secunda^ JH, 143; Oratio sociarum: Supplicamus etiam toto cordis 
affectu,^ benigniasimft pater, pro illo filio tuo, qui nunc et dim devotus tua 
acripait praeconia. Hoc ipae opusculum . . . una nobiscum tibi offert et 
dedicat (Amoni's ecL, p. 140). 

* Sabatier in Opuscules de crit. kist.y m, p. 70, n. x: '' Avec une habil£t£ que 
je me d]q)en8erai de qualifier, Thomas de Celajio paria de facon H sugg^rer k 
ses lecteurs Vi6€e, que la seconde vie avait ^t^ faite en collaboration avec les 

* G6tz in Bricgers "Zdtschrift f. Kgsch." 1903, p. 178: "Mir wifl scheincn, 
die MOglichkeit dieses Betruges sich ausdenken, heisst sie vemeinen. Es 
liegt eine seelische Unmttglichkeit vor, ganz abgesehen davon, dass ein Wider- 
spoich gegen den F&lscher sich in der ^tem Literatur vorfinden milsste 
auch wenn der erste Protest der Vergewaltigten (i.e. the Socit) uns veloren 
gegangen sein sollte." In note 3 on the same page Gatz adds, that from 
SalM.tier's standpoint it must seem very remarkable that such a conscienceless 
falsifier, as Sabatier considers Thomas of Celano to be, should be heki in such 
high esteem by his superiors and should always get new commissions for work, 
which he kept up to the end of his life; "so niedrig stehende Naturen pflegen 
lidi aucfa mit ihien F^eunden zu Qberwerfen." 



accordances).^ As regards the second part, the contents do not 
compare so closely. 

Up to the most recent times it has been held that Thomas of 
Celano did not send to Crescentius more than the first part of his 
Vita secundCy and only wrote the two last and most important 
books at the request of Crescentius' successor, John of Parma.* 
This belief rests on a note in Ckromca XXIV generalium^ in which 
it* is said of this immediate successor of Crescentius, that he 
'^ repeatedly invited Brother Thomas of Celano to complete his 

. Chap. XVI-XVn 

> Tns SocU VUa sec., Cdaoo 

Prologue Prologue 

Chap. I, iL z, Qiap. n, n. 4 . . . . Clu^. I 

" n, s-6 " n 

" m, 7-8 " m 

" ra,s-io "IV 

" IV ** V 

•* V, 15, VI, 16 "VI 

" VI, 16-ao, vn, 23 .... " vn 

" vn, 24 " vra 

" vn, 22 •* IX 

" vra, 27-28 "X 

" xn, 46, xm, 54 "XI 

" xra, 55-56 " xn-xm 

" XIV, 59 "XIV 

" XVI and XV " XVI-XVH 

(Cap. XXXni in the complete Legenda trium sociorum, ed. Da Ch 
DomenicheUi, oorre^xmds to Cap. XV in Celano and to Cap. 27 in Spec, 

For every one who with any degree of attention oompares the chapten 
which correspond to each other, there can exist no doubt on which side the 
originality lies. As fresh and original as are the narrations in the Legenda kmm 
sociarutntSo are they stiff and involved in Thomas of Cdano. Moreover, he 
abbreviates to such an extent that it is often impossible to understand what 
he is telling us, if we do not know it in advance. In one place we see him pass 
over a whole series of narrations of the first disciples (Leg. trium sociarum, Capp. 
IX-XI), saying that it would be too long to follow out each narration {Umgmm 
esset de singidis persequi. VUa sec,^ Cel., I, xo). 

It is worthy of remark that Thomas of Celano's working up of the first 
part of the Tlum Brothers' Legend ceases with Cap. XVI; he did not know of 
the two chapters 17 and 18 added at a later period and which are found in the 
manuscripts. It is imposable to give the time of these editions more accurately 
than that it was before 1375 probably, and, as it b based upon St. Bonaventure's 
woi^ on St. Francis, they come after 1263. 

*Thus Sabatier, Speculum perfecthmis, p. 125, and the editors of AnaUda 
Pranciscana, vol. 11, p. 18. 

*Anal, Franc., HI, 276. 


biography of St. Frands, for he had only written about his conver- 
sation and sa3angs in his first treatise which he had composed by 
command of Brother Crescentius." As Thomas does not treat 
of Francis's conoersatio and verba in the first, but does treat of 
them in the second part of the Vita secunda, it is perfectly dear 
that this cannot be the part of the biography which John of Parma 
asked him to write. Since van Ortroy's publication of a hitherto 
unknown treatise on St. Frauds' mirades, which vdthout doubt 
can be ascribed to Thomas of Cdano, we also know thereby 
that this is the work John of Parma wished written to complete 
the VUa secunda.^ 

The fact that the division between the two parts of Celano's 
new work so accurately corresponds with the condusion of the 
traditional Three Brothers' Legend seems to indicate that there 
was a division in this place in the very work sent out from the 
Convent in Grecdo. In the first part of the manuscript the Three 
Brothers describe a period of time, of which it is certain that their 
scribe, Brother Leo, knew nothing from his own experiences; 
therefore they had to content themselves as best they could with 
Thomas of Cdano's relation in the Vita prima, although certain 
parts, such for example as that treating of the Brothers' first 
missionary trips, are completely worked over con amare. But 
the part of their legend which corresponds to the first and third 
of Celano's Vita secunda was made up first and foremost out of 
their own remembrances of St. Frauds, and the form became — 
as the Speculum perfecHoms and the Mdchiorri Legend show — 
Gompletdy different: no well arranged history but detached 
stories. li the first part reminds us of a regularly arranged legend, 

* Published in AnaUcta BcUandiana, XVm (1899), pp. 81-177; the manu- 
script was found in Marseilles. 

G6tz, **Die QudUn sur Geschichte des U, Prans. v. Assist,'' published in book 
fonn in Gotha, 1904, pp. 334 et seq., is inclined to ascribe the work to Julian 
of Speier. But as Julian always copied Celano, he must have had an exactly 
corresponding work of Thomas before him, and the notes in the Ckron. XXIV 
gen. indicate this. 

That the material for the whole of the VUa secunda was sent immediately 
by Cresccntius to Thomas is to be seen in this, that he already in the first 
volume (chapter XV) treats of a source which in the Legenda trium sociarim 
was not be found in that part, but in the second half of the Legend. Sabatier 
therefore suspects unjustly (Vie, p. 76) that John of Parma had at first 
given Celano the rest of the Three Brothers' Legend for revision. Moreover, it 
was Sabatier who, before v. Ortroy, discovered in an Assisi MS. fragments of 
Cdano's Treatise on Miracles (Misc, Franc,, 1894, pp. 40 et seq. Compare 
Opuscules, fasc III, pp. 66-67). 


the second part supplies precisely the flowers, the fiares which 
the Brothers promised to pluck from the fields of their memory. 
It is likely that the second part of the Three Brothers' L^end 
originally or in very early manuscripts bore the title we know in 
some Framdscan manuscripts, now injured by fire: Flares bead 
Francisci ei saciarum ejus} 

That the Three Brothers' Legend did thus consist of two parts 
is dearly indicated by a peculiarity we find in several of the manu- 
scripts. In these manuscripts we find, namely, together with the 
Legenda trium sociarum and in close sequence thereto, sometimes 
the Speculum perfectionis, sometimes the Actus beati Francisci et 
sociarum ejus. These two compilations of the fourteenth century 
are exactly — as will show later — the substitutes of a later time 
for the second half of the Three Brothers' L^end, and their pres- 
ence in this place is an indication partly of the incompleteness of the 
traditional legend and partly of the character of the missing second 
portion. In the Bollandists' Leonine manuscript of the Three 
Brothers' Legend, the Speculum and the Actus follow it; the same 
association occurs in the case of the manuscript N. 1743 of 1459, 
in the Mazarin Library, but with the Legenda trium sociarum 
between the Speculum and the Actus. In the same library the 
manuscript 989 of 1460 contains the Tres sodi, Speculum and the 
Ac^. Manuscript 343 of Li^e of 1408 contains: Tres socU, 
ActuSy Admonitiones, Speculum. Manuscript 1407 in the Riccardi 
Library in Florence contains first in Italian the traditional Legenda 
trium sociarum and Lo specchio di perfectione, and finally a quantity 
of St. Francis' letters and prayers, rules for hermits, Admonitiones^ 
The Blessing of Brother Leo, with a whole lot of small pieces of 
the character of the Fioretti, the whole collected under the title 
Incominciano alquanti fiori spirituali. Also manuscript 2697 in the 
University Library in Bologna of about 1500 contains: (i) Tre 
Compagni, (2) Specchio di perfectione, (3) Fiori spirituali. (See 
the detailed description of these and many similar manuscripts in 
the introduction to Vols. I, II and IV of Sabatier's exhaustive 
Collection d^Studes et de documents sur Vhistoire rHigieuse et littiraire 
du moyen dge. Paris, 1898-1902.) 

*See Papini: Etruria Francescana (Siena, 1797), pp. 16^-163 , quoted in 
Sabatier's Collection d'Studes et de documents y IV, pp. 30-31. One of these 
manuscripts was in vulgari and they cannot well have had anything dse 
in them than the FioreUiy and we find in this book a part of the original Fran- 
dscan Flares. The question is first and foremost this: where was the title 
first used and what work did it originally indicate? And here it caimot be 
denied that the Three Brothers in 1246 used it for their own legend. 


This theory of mine of the original division of the Three Brothers' 
L^end into two paxts would, among other things, make it clear 
how Bartholomew of Pisa, who otherwise knew and cites a more 
complete Legenda trium sociarum than the traditional, is never- 
theless (Con/(>ff».,Milano,i5io,fol. 181-182) able to quote Frauds' 
prophecy about Cardinal Hugolin's elevation to the Papal throne, 
as being ''almost at the end of the legend" {quasi in fine legends). 
This quotation agrees, namely, with the traditional fragmentary 
legend, in which the prophecy is certainly foimd in the last lines 
of the last chapter, and can only be brought into unison with the 
author's imdoubted acquaintance with a completer Legenda trium 
sociorum^ if we accept that he here by the word legenda has intended 
to indicate the first legendary or hktoric part of the work, which 
he distinguished from the flares (flowers) of its second division.^ 

I grant, moreover, that the Italian Three Brothers' Legend does 
not support this thesis. As this, namely, is contained in Muzio's 
copy, no division into two parts is to be found in it, but a whole 
quantity of the chapters I have designated as flares are found 
intercalated, partly between Clu^s. XII and XIV of the first 
part of the Legend, partly between Chaps. XIV and XV-XVI of 
the same. But whether even the Muzio manuscript gives us an 
idea of the original contents of the Three Brothers' Legend or not, 
it does not necessarily follow that the division into the two parts 
should have been followed in it. In the Middle Ages they took 
the most extensive liberties in this respect.^ 

In any case in the second division (second and third book) of 
Celano's Vita secunda, we have to see an editing of the material 
the Brothers had sent to Crescentius, and which did not appear in 
the first book of the Vita secunda. But we shall go entirely wrong 
if we expect to find an actual written authority for every single 
chapter in Celano. We must not forget that Thomas not only 
drew from the notes of the Brothers, but also from their verbal 
descriptions; the prologue and concluding prayer show us that 
this co-operation existed, even if we are not in a position to say 

* An indication of Bartholomew of Pisa's knowledge of a complete Three 
Brothers' Legend is in Da Civezza-Domenichelli, pp. 46-49. Tilemann, 
(same work, p. 69) on account of the contradiction whose explanation is 
attempted above, considers the quotations of Bartholomew of Pisa quite 
unavailable as proofs of the existence of a Legenda trium sociorum of greater 
scope than the traditional one. 

'In this connection is it worthy of remark that Sabatier in the Muzio 
manuscript sees an intermediate work between the original and the traditional 
Three Brothers' Legend. (Opuscules^ fasc. Ill, p. 70.) 


how and under what forms. We have a right to expect a certain 
similarity with other works of the Brother Leo group, and such 
similarity is found, not only when we compare the Vita secunda 
with the Italian Three Brothers' Legiend edited by Melchioni, 
but also when we institute the comparison with the work that more 
than any other may be said to represent the tradition originating 
with Brother Leo and his circle, Speculum perfecUanis. A whole 
quantity of chapters of both works are found introduced in Celano's 
Vita secunda — we may compare for instance the Speculumy 30-35, 
with the Vita secunda, sec. Ill, 31-34, or the complete Three 
Brothers' L^end, Caps. 30, 37, 38, with Caps. 37, 30, 32, in the 
same part of Celano's second biography. 

There are not a few chapters in the Vita secunda that did not 
originate in the Speculum perfectionism and there are also many 
without parallel texts in the Muzio-Melchiorri Legend. In con- 
sideration of the exact, ahnost servile parallelism with the Legenda 
trium sociorum in the first book of Celano's second biography, I 
would be obliged to accept the conclusion that the personal co-opera- 
tionbetween Thomas and the Three Brothers beganfa^st with the second 
book, in whose prologue, exactly in the Brothers' spirit, Francis is 
conceived and represented as speculum sanctitaHs and imago per-- 
Jectionis. From now on there is less adherence to Celano's meUiod 
of work. The dedication to Crescentius preceding the entire 
book may — like the Brothers' letter of 1246 to Crescentius — 
have been written last.^ 

^As an illustration of the relation between the Tliree Brothers' Legend, 
Speculum perfectioniSf and Celano's Vita secunda, 1 append the following parallel: 

Legenda trium sociorum 

(Da Civezza-Melchiorri's ed.) 

Cap. XIX. Quomodo exivU cum fervore ad quemdam frairem qui that cum 
deemosynis laudando Deum, Alio quoque tempore, beato Frandaoo existente 
apud Sanctam Mariam de Portiiinculam, quidam frater, spiritualis valde, venie- 
bat per stratam, revertens de Assisio pro eleemosyna, et ibat alta voce lauda- 
dando Deum cum magna jucunditate. Quum autem appn^nnquasset ecclesiac 
beatae Mariae, beatus Frandscus audlvit eum, qui ami mazimo fervore et 
gaudio exivit ad eum, occurrens sibi in via, et cum magna laetitia osculans hume- 
rum ejus, ubi apportabat peram ami eleemosyna. £t accepit peram de humero 
ejus et sic apportavit ipaam in domum fratrum et coram fratribus dixit: "Sic 
vok) quod frater meus vadat et revertatur cum eleemosyna laetus et gaudeos et 
laudans Deum." 

Speculum perfecUonis (Cap. 25) has exactly the same text (as Pauper for 
frater is only a copyist's error). 
Celano's Vila secunda 

(ed Amoni) 

III, cap. XXII. Qualiter osculaius fuU humerum deemasynam portantis. 
Alio tempore apud Portiunculam cum frater quidam rediret de Assisio aui 


Cetano's second biography seems thus to rest upon two separate 
foundations — partly upon the second part of the Legenda trium 
soctorum, partly upon more exact descriptions and statements 
from Leo, Angelo and Rufino. 

As the Speculum perfectianis, which was written in 1318, con- 
tains much more of the material for Celano's second biography 
than the Legenda trium sociorum in the Muzio manuscript, we are 
apparently forced to believe that the original Three Brothers' 
Li^end was less detailed than Brother Thomas' VUa secunda. 
But as there is undoubtedly an ancient text, the foundation for 
the relations in the Speculumy even when they are not found in the 
Italian Legenda trium sociorum^ which ancient text concerns also 
the relations of Thomas of Celano, there is nothing else for us to 
suppose than thai the Brothers co-operating with Thomas brought to 
light more reminiscences of St. Francis than those they had put 
down in their own legend — the same, which in part is preserved 
for us in the Speculum perfectianis} 

Whether the question can be answered, as to why in all the 
Latin manuscripts of the Three Brothers' L^^d only half is 
preserved, is doubtful, in the face of all these researches. 

There is no doubt that there is a sort of division in the legend 
itself, which is almost enough to give the first part of the work an 
independent character. 

The legend's special value was due to the fact that it was written 
by the nearest friends of the departed founder of the Order, but 
Celano's second biography had the same pre-eminence and in 
addition bore an official stamp, as the Three Brothers' Legend 
must be looked upon as a predecessor from which Brother Thomas 
extracted the best parts. 

This point of view explains well why the Three Brothers* 
Legend on the whole returned to the old form. But it does not 
explain how the second part of it has disappeared. Thomas of 
Celano had worked upon the whole legend — why did not the 
whole of it disappear? 

etoemosyna, propinquus jam looo coepit in cantum prommpere, et Dominum 
alta voc3e laudaxe. Quo audito, repente exilit sanctus, accurrit foras, et oscu- 
lato fratris humero, sacculum suo imponit: Benedictus, inquit, sit fiater meus, 
qui promptus vadit, humilis quaerit, gaudens revertitur. 

^ It is dear to the most superficial observation (see the foregoing remaik) 
how Thomas abbreviated and adorned the simple explicit presentation which 
b preserved for us in the Three Brothers' Legend and in the Speculum. Also 
how the material is not reproduced word for word, but — as in the parallel 
just given — becomes a simple statement much improved in style. 


The real reason must therefore be sought elsewhere. It lies 
in the appearance on the scene of a manuscript that in various 
ways crowded upon, even overshadowed all early biographies of 
St. Francis — the legend produced by St. Bonaventure as General 
of the Order.^ 

3. St. Bonaventure Group 

Bonaventure (John Fidanza) from Bagnorea had never per- 
sonally known St. Frands. He was — this he tells in the pro- 
logue to his legend — when a little boy cured by a mirade of the 
great Saint.^ He was bom in 1221 and took Orders when seven- 
teen years old, and therefore after Frauds' death. 

It was a General Chapter in Narbonne in 1260 which entrusted 
to Bonaventure the writing of a new legend of St. Francis so that 
— in the words of the Chapter's resolution — a "serious and cor- 
rect presentation" can be given ''of the many different legends'' 
which now exist.* 

Bonaventure undertook the commission, proposing ''according 
to his ability to collect the words and actions of the Saint, as it 
were certain fragments in part dispersed, less they should perish 
by the death of those who had lived in the society of the servant 
of God." Like a good historian he then travdled to Assisi and 
there sought Frauds' "still living familiar friends," "especially 
some who knew well how holy he was," who therefore daimed 
confidence before all others.^ First and foremost he sought 

^ Editions of Cdano's Viia secunda, Rome, z8o6 (Rinaldi), and Rome, z88o 

It is dear to be seen, that Celano in his authorship always sought the same 
authorities. This is evident in the fact that we find in Celano's Tradakis de 
miracuHs, written by order of John of Parma — concerning the presence of 
Jaoopa de Septemsoliis at the deathbed of Francis — what is a perfect seqnd 
to the present narration in the complete Tkree Brothers* Legend (Cap. 
LXXVni), and Speculum perfectionis (Cap. 112). Even as the biographer 
of St Clara, he worked in unison with Brother Leo. 

'ea quam ad sanctum patrem habere teneor devotio . . . utpote qui per 
ipsius invocationem et merita in puerili aetate, sicut recenti memoria teneo, 
a mortis faudbus erutus, si praeconia laudis eius tacuero, timeo soderis argd 
ut ingratus. (Legenda major, ed. Quaracchi, 1898, Piologus, 3). 

'ut ablata varietate multarum legendarum ex diversis historiarum frag- 
mentis, quae de s. Frandsco circumferebantur, gravem et sinceram ipse con- 
dnnaret historiam. Wadding, 1260, n. 18. 

* actus et verba quasi fragmenta quaedam partim neglecta, partimque dis- 
persa, quamquam plene non possem, utcumque coUigerem, ne, morientibus 
his, qui cum famulo Dei convizerant, deperiient . . . adiens locum originia 


Brother Leo, with whom he had ahready corresponded, as he had 
to send reports to the General of the Order ooncenung the Clares 
in S. Damiano (after 1260 in St. Clara), whose visitator he was.^ 
Next comes Brother Illuminato, who up to 1273 was Provincial 
of Umbria and who seems to have given bonaventure much 
material (on the trip to the Orient in which he took part, and from 
the Rieti district, where he had his home). Furthermore, Bona- 
venture's work appears as a skilfully prepared compilation of all 
the preceding sources — Celano's Vita prima, which he used in 
Julian of Speier's adaptation, the first part of the Three Brothers' 
L^end, Celano's Vita secunda and Treatise on Miracles — finally 
he uses in one place an expression that reminds one of a relation 
in the later Speculum perfectionis? There is little new in St. 
Bonaventure; most that is new consists of further adornments of 
the l^ends. Thus the Priest Silvester, in the vision which con- 
verts him, sees not only a cross issuing from the mouth of St. 
Frands, but sees also a dragon that surrounds the whole of 
Assisi, and which Francis puts to flight Also the tale of the man 
in Assisi, who in Frands' youth honored him by spreading his 
doak before him in the street, is found for the first time in Bona- 
venture.' In this and other new details we seem to hear the echo 
of all the more or less fabulous and numerous tales about St. 
Francis, which went from mouth to mouth in the market-place in 
Assisi, or were told by the firesides in the evening when they were 
entertaining each other with stories. 

Thode in his well-known book has undertaken to collect together 
these new inddents in Bonaventure's legend.^ Here we must 
observe that St. Bonaventure — as the editors of Anakcta Fran- 

conversationis et transitus viri sancti, cum familiaribus dus adhuc supervi* 
ventibus coUationem . . . habui diligentem, et marime cum quibusdam, qui 
sanctitatis eius et oonscii fuerunt et sectatores praecipui, quibus . . . fides 
est indubitabilis adhibenda. (Prolog. 3-4.) 

1 Intelligens semper, dllectae in Domino filiae, per rarisBimum nostrum 
fratrem Leonem, quondam sodum sancti patris, quomodo vdut sponsae regis 
aetemi servire Cbristo pauperi crudfixo in omni pinitate studeatis. . . . (Let- 
ter of October, 1259, to the Clares in S. Damiano, in Bonaventure's Opera omma, 
Quaracchi, 1898, VIII, p. 473). 

' See the comparison with Da Civezza-Domenichelli, p. z86, note a. Saba- 
tier's assertion (Spec, perf., pp. 130 et seq.), that Bonaventure used the Specie 
htm throughout his work, is refuted by TUemann Qoc dt., p. 74). 

■ Legenda major. III, 6; I, i. 

* H. Thode: *^Frans v. Assisi und die AnfOnge der Kunst der Renaissance im 
JtaUen," Berlin, 1885, p. 535. Sec also Gbtz: "QueUen,** Gotha, 1904, pp. 
243-357: TUemann, loc. dt., pp. 72-76. 


ciscana say in one place — referring to the whole of this questioii 
of origin, ^'for the sake of peace, somewhat modified it,"^ in other 
words that he modified the too severe development of the original 
Franciscan ideals, as it is found both in Cdano and in the Legenda 
fri/um sociorum. And here we have the reason for the condemnation 
of the last named legend. 

After Bonaventure had finished his biogn^hy he laid it before 
the Chapter of the Order in Pisa in 1263, and they were so pleased 
with his work that they resolved to destroy all the other legends of St. 
Francis. As Tilemann has said: "they canonized the General's 
Legend and proscribed all others." 

This momentous resolution reads as follows: 

^'The General Chapter commands likewise in the name of 
obedience, that all legends that have been written about St. 
Francis shall be destroyed, and where they are found outside the 
Order, the Brothers will seek to dispose of them, because the 
legend which was written by the General is made up of what he 
heard from their mouths, who were with St. Francis nearly all the 
time and knew everything with certainty. ..." * 

The decree disposed of all earlier l^ends, but especially of the 
two in which this ideal, dangerous to the preservation of peace, 
was most definitely announced — Cdano's Vita secunda and the 
second part of the Three Brothers* Legend. Thomas of Celano's 
work was somewhat protected by the name of its author — he 
was indeed the Order's first official historian and, after the canon- 
ization of St. Clara in 1255 by Pope Alexander IV, had received 
the commission to write also her l^end. Nevertheless there are 
only two manuscripts of his ''Second Biography." And for Leo's, 
Rufino's and Angelo's "Wreath of Flowers" no pity was fdt, 
and with dutiful zeal, following the order of the General Chapter, 
the Brothers scattered them before the winds. Only the first half 

^ Ut pad ooQstilat, aliquatenus midus procedit S. Booavoitura (Anal. Pr., 

n, p. 32). 

* Item praedpit capitulum geneiaie per obedieDtiam, quod omnes legendae 
de beato Frandsco dim factae ddeantur et ubi inveniri potenmt extra ordinem, 
ipsas fratres studeant amovere, cum ilia legenda, quae facta est per generalem, 
sit compilata, prout ipse habuit ab (nre illorum, qui cum beato Francisco quad 
semper fuerunt et cuncta certitudinaliter sdverint et probata ibi dnt podta 
dOigenter. (Rinaldi's edition of Cdano, Rome, x8o6, p. XI.) Also Angdo 
Oareno (d. ca. 1337) knew that ''quae scripta erant in legenda prima, noivi 
editi a fratre Bonaventura, ddeta et destnicta sunt, ipso jubente." (Chromee 
$eptem trUndoHomm, in "Archiv fOr latt. u. Kgsdi." n, p. 56.) Con^Mie 
Wadding, 1260, n. z8. 


was in some cases spared, as well as Celano's Viia prima for the 
sake of its less significant character, and yet of the VUa prima 
there are only seven manuscripts preserved and of the condemned 
Three Brothers' Legend only eighteen manuscripts, while for the 
use of the new Quaracchi edition of Bonaventure's work no 
less than one hundred and seventy-nine manuscripts were at 

To the same group as St. Bonaventure's l^end is naturaUy 
attributed the work De laudibus SancH Francisci^ written by his 
secretary, Bernard of Bessa, about 1290. After having decreed 
the destruction of all the earlier legends, the highest authorities 
of the Order seemed to have realized a too radical treatment of 
the old remains, and in 1277 the Chapter of the Order in Padua 
invited new researches for the collection of all memoirs of St. 
Francis still in existence.^ Bernard of Bessa seems to have ac- 
cepted this invitation; in any case his work is later than 1277, 
because he (Anal. Franc,, III, p. 682) refers to John Peckham as 
Archbishop of Canterbury, a dignity to which this Franciscan was 
first raised in 1279.' 

The fact is that Bernard of Bessa's manuscript presents little 
that is new; he is, like his teacher and master, a compiler. In 
the prologue he names as his sources Celano's fir^ biography, 
John of Ceperano, Julian of Speier and "Brother Bonaventure, 
General of the Order, formerly a distinguished teacher of theology 
in Paris, then Cardinal in the Holy Roman Church and Bishop 
of Albano." But neither the Vila secunda nor the Three Brothers' 
Legend is named, which, with the decree of 1263 in mind, seems 
very natural, although Bernard used them so much.* Tilemann 
clearly saw that this silence about the Legenda trium saciarum was 
an argument for the incompleteness of the traditional legend; 
Bernard says nothing of it, nor of Celano's Viia secunda, because 
both works contain things that were not well looked upon by 
the peace-loving majority. Sabatier suspects that Bernard in his 
functions as secretary to Bonaventure had access to the condemned 
legends.^ On the other hand, Bernard did not need to have ex- 
tracted his story of the visit of Jacopa of Settesoli to the death- 
bed of Francis from the yet imwritten Speculum; it is to be 
found both in Thomas of Celano's Treatise on Miracles and 

1 Anal. BoU,, XDC, 133. 
*£ubel: Hierarckia calh, medii aeri, p. 169. 
* Parallel places died by Tilemann, pp. 79-^80. 
« Speculum perjectioms, p. CXXXIV. 



probably also was in the complete form of the Three Brothers' 

4. Speculum Group 

After 1263 we hear little said of the Three Brothers' Legend; 
the Chronica XXIV generalium a hundred years later mentions 
it again and quotes the letter to Crescentius.^ But until 1271 
the man was still living who was, so to say, the living reproduction 
of the Three Brothers' Legend; namely, Brother Leo. In spite 
of all prohibitions, memories of his beloved lord and master's life 
still bloomed in his aged heart, and when the young Brothers 
from near and far visited him in his cell at Portiuncula, his mouth 
overflowed with what filled his heart, and he told them multa 
magnolia, many great things about St. Francis. Sometimes he 
criticized the official legend and declared that things went alto- 
gether different from its descriptions. And both his relations and 
his criticism were remembered by the yoimg men and written 
down for edification and for later discussion. Thus Brother Leo 
came in contact with all the best among the Order: Brother Conrad 
of Qffida (d. 1300)9 Brother Salimbene, Brother Peter of Tewkes- 
bury (Provincial of England), Brother Francis of Fabriano (d. 1322), 
Brother Angelo Clareno (entered the Order a little after 1260).' 

^ Da Civezza and Domenichelli's Legends, cap. LXXVlil. 

Bemaid of Bessa's work appears in the AnaUda Frandscanat m, pp. 666- 
692, and by F. Hflarin Fdder, Rome, 1897. 

' Amd, Franc.t IH, p. 362. 

* parum ante mortem fratris Leonis appaniit (fratri loamii) sanctus Fran- 
dscus dicens, ut, assumpto fratre Corrado, pergeret ad fratrem Leonem, qui 
tunc in sancta Maria de Porduncula morabatur, et ab ipso inquireret de verbis 
et vita sua, sdlicet sancti patris Frandsd. Quod cum fedsset, ambo multa 
magnalia de beato Frandsco ab ipso fratre Leone audiverunt. (Anal. Pramc., 
HI, p. 438.) 

Sicut dixit mihi frater Leo sodus suus (Salimbene, Chromca, p. 75). 

Sed et frater Leo, sodus sancti Frandsd, dixit fratri Petro, ministro Angliae, 
quod apparitio seraphim facta f uit sancto Frandsco in quodam raptu oontem- 
platlonis, et satis evidentius, quam scribebatur in vita sua. . . . Ista scripsit 
frater Garynus de Sedenefeld ab ore fratris Leonis. (Ecdeston, Anal. Prone. 
I, p. 245. See Anal. Franc., Ill, p. 646.) 

Wadding (1267, n* S) quotes the following from Frauds Venimbemi of Fabri- 
ano: De supradicto fratre Petro Cathanli, quod fuit generalis minister, habetur 
ex dlctis fratris Leonis, imius de sodis sancti Frandsd, quern sdlicet fratrem 
Leonem ego vidi et dus scripta legi, quae recollegit de dictis et vita sanctissimi 
patris nostri Frandsd. 

Finally Angelo Clareno in his Chronica septem tribulalionum (quoted in 
Sabatier's edition of Spec, perf., p. 89, n. i) says: Supererant adhuc multi 
de sodis . . . de quibus ego vidi et ab ipsis audivi quae narro, qui ey 


And when the young men had departed and Brother Leo was 
agam alone in his poor little cell, whose whitewashed walls always 
seemed to him to be shining with bright sunlight, then the old 
Franciscan sat down at his work-table and began to write just as 
in the old days when St. Francis dictated. Memory after memory 
came upon him, one sheet of parchment was written full after 
another in his beautiful dear handwriting, and when twilight 
came and the clouds grew gold in the evening over Perugia's 
distant towers, then Brother Leo rolled up his parchments and 
carried them down the road, which under the olive trees passes 
along Assisi's wall out to St. Clara's convent. Thither he had 
already brought one of his dearest treasures, the Breviary St. 
Francis had used; now his reminiscences of the great departed one 
were to be entrusted to the guardianship of the Sisters. Little 
by little they thus collected a considerable collection of anecdotes^ 
in part identical with the older writings from the time when he 
collaborated with Thomas of Celano; but we may well believe that 
many a new page was inserted in this book of reminiscences. 
During such quiet hours at the writing table were written also 
the "Leaves of Memory," as they may be called, which Leo, like 
his master, was wont to give or to send to his disciples, and by 
which he impressed them with the Ftandscan ideals.^ 
In these rotuli or schedukB, ''rolls or schedules," of Brother Leo 

toto corde revelata eonim patri fideliter et pure servare satagebant. It follows 
from the words quoted, that Qareno here and foremost is thmlring of Brother 
Leo; for it is exactly he who knew what had been revealed to Fnmds at Fonte 
Colombo and on Mt. Alvema and preserved it all in his heart. 

^ qiiod sequitur a sancto' fratre Conrado predicto et viva voce audivit a 
aancto fratre Leone. . . . Et hoc ipsum in quibusdam rotulis manu sua con- 
scriptis, quos commendavit in monasterio sanctae Clarae custodiendos ad 
futurorum memoriam didtur oontineri. In illis autem mtilta scripsit, sicut ex 
ore patris audiverat. (Ubertino of Casale, in his work, written 1505, Arbor tUa^ 
cnicifixae^VeDiot 1485, fol. 223ai. Roiidus^ according to Ducange « scheda^ 
carta in spedem rotulae, seu rotae, convoluta. Brother Leo's documents are 
also called scheduiae, i.e., schedules. Both titles seem to indicate pieces without 
connection with each other. St. Frands' Breviary in the convent of Santa Chiara 
in Assisi has on its first page a note written by the hand of Brother Leo. It 
runs thus: frater Angdus et f rater Leo supplicant sicut possunt dominae Bene- 
dictae abbatissae paupemm dominarum monasterii sanctae Clarae . . . ut in 
memoria et devotione sancti patris libnim istum in quo multoties legit dictus 
pater semper conservent in monasterio sanctae Clarae. (Quoted in Sabatier's 
Spec, perf., p. 175, n. 2.) 

Brother Leo's schedule to Brother Conrad of Offida is found interpolated 
between Chapters 71 and 72 in the Speculum perfectionis, and in another fonn 
the Actus b. Prancisci, cap. 65. Compare Anal, Pranc,^ m, p. 70. 


is found the matter for the three works which complete the drde 
of the Franciscan legends; namely, Speculum perfecUonis, Legenda 
antiqua and Actus beoH Francisci el sociorum ejus {FiaretU). 

a. Speculum perfecUonis 

As already mentioned, Paul Sabatier, in his search for the miss- 
ing portion of the Three Brothers' Legend in the late Franciscan 
compilation, Speculum beati Francisci ei sociorum ejus (printed 
1504), found a series of chapters which offer the most striking 
likeness to the legends of Leo, Angelo and Rufino, and whose 
authors — for there appeared to be several — in not less than 
seventeen places declare that they had been Frands' nearest 
friends and companions, nos, qui cum eo fuimus — an expression 
which strikingly reminds us of the words in the Brothers' letter to 
Crescentius: visum est nobis, qui secum licet indigni fuimus diutius 
conversati. Sabatier was just on the point of concluding that he 
here stood face to face with the missing Three Brothers^ Legend 
when in a manuscript in the Mazarin Library in Paris (No. 1743) 
he found these chapters from the Speculum beati Francisci as a 
distinct division with the title Speculum perfectionis and, what 
completely overcame him, with the following ending: "Here 
ends the Friars' Minor mirror of perfection. ... All praise, all 
glory be to God the Father and Son and Holy Ghost. Honor and 
thanks to the most glorious Virgin Mary and to his Holy Mart3rr 
Kunera, exaltation and veneration to his most Holy Servant 
Francis, Amen. Done in the most holy place of St. Mary of Por- 
tiuncula and finished May 11, in the year of the Lord 1227." ^ 

What should at once have made Sabatier doubtful about this 
date was the reference immediately preceding it to the German 
Saint Kunera, who especially was honored in the district of 
Utrecht, but to whom it was hardly probable that an Italian 
legend writer in the year 1227 should give a place of honor, 
immediately after the Blessed Virgin and before Francis himself. 
But the text of the manuscript contains a whole quantity of things 

^Explicit speculum perfectionis fratris minoris, scilicet bead Fnnciaci, 
in quo sdlicet vocationis et professionis suae perfectionem potest suffidentisaime 
speculari. Omnis laus, omnis gloria sit Deo patri et filio et spiritui sancto. 
Honor et gratiarum actio gloriosissimae virgin! Mariae, eiusque sanctae Martsrri 
Kunerae, magnificentia et exaltatio beatissimo servo suo Frandsoo. Amen. 
Actum in sacro sancto loco sanctae Mariae de Portiuncula et oompletum V * 
ydus May, anno domini M*CC*XXVin*. (5^. perf., ed. Sabatier, p. 246.) 
The 3rear 1 228 in the Florentine reckoning of time used in the above corrcaponds 
to our 1227. 


which tell against so early an authorship. For example, in speak- 
ing of Cardinal Hugolin it says "who afterwards became Pope." 
In 1227 the expression should have been: "who has just become 
Pope," for Gregory IX (Hugolin) reigned from March 12, 1227, 
to August 21, 1241. But the clause named above is applied to 
Hugolin's name not less than four times (Capp. 21, 23, 43, 65) and 
always in the same words. Also in the commencement of Chapter 
107 we are told of the death of St. Bernard of Quintavalle. But 
this first successor to St. Ftands was alive in 1242, as Salim« 
bene visited him in this year in the convent in Siena.^ Sabatier 
decided that these statements were later inserts, and published his 
work in 1898, as "the oldest legend of St. Francis, written by 
brother Leo." * 

Sabatier's edition follows the text of the Mazarin manuscript, 
with the exception of one point, and this is very important; namely, 
the beginning. The Mazarin manuscript begins with the follow- 
ing introduction, fatal to Sabatier's thesis of the early authorship 
of the manuscript: "Here begins the mirror of perfection of the 
Friars Minor; namely, of St. Frauds." Tkis work is compiled as a 
legend of wirious old relalions, which the neatest friends of St. Francis 
wrote or had written in various convents,"* Sabatier on his own 
responsibility omitted this introduction and replaced it with an- 
other, which he took from a Vatican manuscript, of the Legenda 
antiquay which, even if akin to it, was a work of different character 
and whose introduction was the following: "Here begins the mirror 
of perfection of the Friars Minor; namely, of St. Frands," which 
the text immediately follows. In 1227, the year after the death of 
St. Frands, it is evident that they could not speak of "old rela- 
tions" written in various convents by St. Frauds' nearest dift- 
dples ; if, therefore, the date of the work was correct, this unsuitable 
introduction must be taken away from it.^ 

^Vidi enim et primum, scilicet fratrem Bemardum de Quintavalle, cum quo 
in conventu Senensi una chyeme habitavi. £t fuit intimus meua amicus et 
mihi et aliis juvenibus de beato Francisco multa magnalia referebat {Ckromca^ 
p. 11). 

Salimbene entered the Order in 1238. 

* . . . Legenda antiquissima auctore fratre Leone. 

* Italics mine. The Latin text is as below: 

Istud opus compilatum est per modum legendae ex quisbusdam antiquis 
quae in diversis lods scripserunt et scribi fecerunt socii be^ti Frandsd. 
Lod, "Places/* was the oldest designation of the Franciscan convents. 

* See Sabatier's text, p. i. On page 252 in his book he adds the Indpit to 
the legend, which was improperly removed, but explains that he has not accepted 
it, because it " serait en contradiction manif este avec tout le contenu de I'ouvrage, 




The appearance of Sabatier's edition of the Speculum excited 
active interest among students of Franciscan history, and a whole 
quantity of treatises appeared for and against him.^ Among 
other things the didactic character of the work was appealed to as 
an argument against its early date; for such works, in which the 
legend's individual elements, as is the case in the Speculum^ are 
arranged imder heads of virtues — "Of his complete poverty," "Of 
his charity to his neighbor," "Of his complete humility, obedience/^ 
etc. — as a rule appear only after long perfecting of the l^end. 

But Sabatier meanwhile held vigorously to his assumed discov- 
ery and would not give up even after Minocchi of the convent 
library in Ognissanti, Rorence, produced a new manuscript of 
the Speculum perfecHonis which both in introduction and text 
compared perfectly with the Mazarin manuscript, but at the end, 
in place of 1227, was dated 1318. The early dating in Sabatier's 
manuscript was due, therefore, as van Ortroy had already sus- 
pected, to a copyist's error, and a glance at the two dates as 
they are foimd in their manuscripts will show that such an error 
coiUd easily take place.' Now the reference in the introduction 
to the compilatory character of the work, and the invocation of 
the German saint at the end, became intelligible; the Speculum 
was a compilation written in Portiuncula in 13 18, and Sabatier's 
manuscript was a copy of it made in a Dutch convent. In 1318 
the Franciscan Order had a number of Dutch and Belgian con- 
vents, and a Brother in one of them in the end of the legend had 

car Tunit^ de plan, de style et de pens6e se revtie dans toutes les parties de cette 
legende." Such arguments based on ''unity of style" are alwa}^ very attract- 
ive and this one has its attractions also. But it gives no right whatever to 
remove a part of the legend that is found in all manuscripts because it does not 
accord with an individual's conception of the character of the work. Sabatier, 
in his Collection d'Hudes, 11, p. 148, n. 3, has given a fiuther defence of his 
method of treatment. 

^ In Gdtz, "QueUen" p. 148, n. 2, is given a sketch of the most important 
of these. 

* In Anal. BoU.y XIX, pp. 59-60, v. Ortroy gives the following convincing 
comparison of the Explicit in the two manuscripts explaining the true bearings 
of the case: 

Maz, Bibl., 1743 Ognissanti-Manuscript 

Explicit speculum perfectionis . . . Explicit Speculum perfectionis . . . 
Actimi in sacro sancto loco sanctae Actum in sacrosancto loco sanctae 
Mariae de Portiuncula et cotnpletum Mariae de Portiuncula et completum 
\rydus may anno Domini M"CC*- V idus maii M'^CCC^XVni. 


It is easy to see how the date MCCCXVIII by the putting of an X for a 
C became MCCXXVm. 


injected his invocation of the patron saint of the locality. This 
accords with the fact that the manuscript, before it reached the 
Mazarin Library in Paris, according to a notice on its first page, 
had belonged to a convent in Namur.^ 

But although, as Gotz has said,^ it can no more be disputed that 
the Speculum perfecHonis as we now possess it is a compilation 
of the year 1318, it is by no means to be denied that, as Sabatier 
affirms, it really originated with Brother Leo. It was not written 
by him in its present shape, but U is founded on maUrial he left 
after kirn; namely, upon his "schedules," his schedule or rotuli. 

The existence of these schedules was not forgotten in the half 
century which, in 1318, had passed since the death of Brother 
Leo. In the course of time they were read and exanuned by a 
whole quantity of men, who ranked among the best in the Order, 
and in the battie of the Franciscan ideals which these men waged, 
"Brother Leo's Schedules" and what they contained were always 
the last and most weighty argument. 

The first who thus appealed to Brother Leo was Peter John 
Olivi, who died March 14, 1298. In his "Explanation of the 
Rule of the Order" he quotes a story that now is found in 
the fourth chapter of the Specuhim perfecUonis and which he says 
he read in "Brother Leo's Schedules." ' 

The next in series is Angdo Clareno (about 1245-1337). He 
joined the Franciscan Order a littie after 1260 and, as has been 
already said, knew several of Frands' disciples, whose conunnni- 
cations he used for his Historia septem tribulationum.^ In this 
chronicle he now names, as the four biographers of St. Francis, 
John (of Ceperano), Thomas of Celano, Bonaventure and "the 
man of wonderful simplicity and holiness, Brother Leo, St. 
Frauds' intimate friend."* With this last as authority {ul 
scfibU fraier Leo) he produces three passages, which are now 
found in the Speculum perfecUonis. Remembering the decree of 

^Ista legenda b. Frandsd patris seraphid est fratrum crudferorum Na- 
murcensium. (Tilemann, loc. dt. 95.) 

*Gdtz: ^*Quelleny" p. 149. Compare Tilemann, pp. 111-113, and H. 
Boehmer: "AriaUkten zur GesckickU des Franciscus von Assist** (TCibtngen u. 
Ldpzig, 1904), p. 68. 

' Unde et in cedulis f ratris Leonis, quas de his, quae de patre nostro tarn- 
quam ejus singularis sodus viderat et audierat, conscripsit, legitur . . . (Ffr- 
mamerUum trium oritnum, Venice, 15 13, f. 123, quoted by Sabatier in his edition 
of Spec, perf.f p. 246, n. i. Tilemann, p. 83). 

^Tilemann, p. 117. 

*vir mirae simplidtatis et sanctitatis frater Leo (Quoted by Sabatier, 
Spec, perf., p. 138). 


Z260 we aie at liberty to believe that he — as Tilemaim and 
Sabatier would have it — here gives us the complete Legenda 
trium sociorum} This is quite probable, because Mariano (d. 1537)1 
whom Wadding quotes, seems also to have known it, and because 
the Italian Three Brothers' Legend, published by Mdchiorri, dates 
at the earliest from the fourteenth century. If he did not get his 
knowledge from the legend, it must have come from Brother Leo's 

The principal witness for the existence of Brother I^eo's schedules 
is Ubertius or Hubert of Casale (i259--ca. 1338}. This contender 
for original Frandscanism was living in the year 1305 on Mt. 
Alvema, and there in the course of seven months wrote his great 
work, Afhor vikB crucifixa, completed the Michaelmas Eve of the 
same year.' 

Hubert himself had not known the "ancient Brothers," anltqui 
Jratres^ now the accepted designation of the last of the original 
disciples, but through Brother Conrad of Qffida (d. 1306) heard 
much of what Brother Leo, Brother Masseo and others had told 
about St. Francis. In his youth he had been in Grecdo, and in 
this little mountain convent, that hangs on the cliffs like a swal- 
low's nest, he had sat at the feet of John of Parma, "looked into 
his angelic face" and heard him tell about Francis and about the 
great departed ones, who had lived and written in his cloister — 
Leo, Angelo, Rufino. John of Parma died March 19 or 20, 1289, 
and Hubert's residence with him was four years before his death. 
The impression from the early years of his youth could never be 
weakened, and the holy fire, which the great Franciscan from Parma 
had lit, was nourished through Hubert's friendship with Conrad 
of Qffida and his narrations.* 

In the fifth book, third chapter, of Arbor vikB Hubert gives a 
whole quantity of quotations of the words of St. Francis which 
Brother Leo had written down with his own hand and which were 
preserved in St. Clara's convent in Assisi. "Unfortunately," 
Hubert adds, "I hear that these notes, at any rate in ]>art, cannot 

^ Spec, Perf.f p. 140, n. z. TQemann, p. 87. 

* Arbor viU crucifixe Jesu, Venice, 1485, fol. ihi: terminavi in vigilia Mi- 
chaelis Azcfaangeli anni presentis MCCCV a feUdssimo ortu veri aolb Jesa. 
A md vero vfli conversiQne anno XXXII . . . septem mensium tempOTe 
duravit hnius libri tractatus. 

' (Hubert on his relations with John of Parma): Nam et ego tunc juvenis 
. . . quarto anno ante eius felicem transitum expressum verbum audivi ab 
eius ore santisstmo, intuens in dus angelicam fadem. (Arbor pUe, fol. axob.) 
Compare Salimbene, p. 3x7. 


be found there any more and may even be entirely lost." ^ The 
passages Hubert thus produces are now fotmd in Specuhtm per-^ 
feOionis, capp. i, 2, 26, 3, 71, 73, 4, 11. 

That these places in Leo's schedules were also in part derived 
from the Three Brothers' Legend follows from what Hubert says, 
that ''Brother Bonaventure deliberately omitted using them in 
his l^end"; accordingly he had them before him for use, but he 
seemed to think it was proper to pass them by.^ 

That this does not need to be the very Speculum perfediams 
which Hubert alludes to (as Sabatier would have it), Lemmens 
has proved by publishing from a manuscript of the fourteenth 
century in S. Isidore in Rome two small pieces written by Brother 
Leo with the titles: ''Book concerning St. Francis' design with his 
Rule" and "Words which Brother Leo wrote," and in which the 
places quoted by Hubert are to be found.* 

Six years after having written the Arhor vita Hubert of Casale 
stood before the Curia in Avignon to answer the complaints which 
the advocates of the slack direction of the Order, Raimond of Fron- 
sac and Bonagratia of Bergamo, had made against him and the 
other Jratres spirituales. Again it was — outside of the Fran* 
dscan Rule and St. Frands' Testament — Brother Leo's narra- 
tions to which Hubert appealed when he showed that the strict 
interpretation of the quritual Brothers was based upon the very 
words of Francis, "which was solemnly written by the holy man, 
Leo, his companion, both by the command of the holy father, 
as well as from devotion of the said Brother, and which are found 
in the book which is kept in the library of the Friars of Assisi 
and in those rolls wkidi I have uritk me, written by the hand of 
the same Brother Leo." ^ 

*' quod sequitur a sancto fratie Coondo praedicto et vivi voce audivit a 
sancto fratre Leone, qui prssens erat. . . Et hoc ipstim in quibiudam lotuUs 
manu sua oonacripsit, quos commendavit in monasterio aancte Clare custo- 
diendoa . . . cum multo dolore audivi illos rotulos f uisse distractos et f orstan 
perditoe, maxime quosdam ex eb (fol. 222a). 

'quae industria frater Bonaventura omiait et noluit in legenda puUioe 
scriberi, mazime quia aliqua eiant ibi in quibus etiam ez tunc deviatio regulae 
publice monstrabatur {Arhor viUB, loc. cit.). 

' Docmnetita aniiqua franciscana, ed. Fr. Leonatdus Lemmens. L ScnfUi 
fnUns Leoms (Quaracchi 1901). Even if Gdtz CQf*d^y* P- i53> n. z) is 
correct in his view, that we have not Brother Leo's writings in their original 
form, we nevertheless can, by the help of Lemmens' manuscript, form a oon- 
oeption of what Brother Leo's "schedules" were. 

* sua verba expressa, que per sanctum virum Leonem eius sodum tarn de 
mandato sancti patris quam etiam de devotione praedicti fratris fuerunt solem- 
niter conscripta in libro, qui habetur in armario fratrum de Assisio, et in rotulii 


The attempt has been made to make Hubert contradict him- 
self, by noting that he in 131 1 declared that he possessed the 
writings of Brother Leo and then wrote in 1305 that they were 
partly lost. But, as Gotz has suggested in answer to this attack, 
there is nothing imreasonable in su^^sing that Hubert's com- 
plaint in Arbor vita can very well have brought about a new col- 
lection of Leo's rotuli, and it is reasonable that he himself took 
interest in the affair and got the papers into his own hands in 
order to secure them from destruction.^ 

That the compilation of the Speculum perfecHonis in 13 18 has 
some kind of connection with these efforts of Hubert follows 
almost of itself. The relations within the Franciscan Order were 
such that a resurrection of the spirit of the first days of the Order 
was badly needed. In the years 1317-1318 "the zealous ones" 
were hard pressed; April 27, 1317, John XXH called them anew 
to a reckoning in Avignon, in spite of Hubert's assertions and 
explanations six years before. The "zealous ones" did not suc- 
ceed in winning the Pope to their side; in October of the same 
year he declared himself against them. Other Papal announce- 
ments of this time were directed against them or against the related, 
but heretical, FroHceUi. It was then that Angdo Clareno wrote 
his letter of defence to the Pope to free the Brethren of the 
strict observance from all false accusations. And ai ike same time 
there was issued from PorHuncula as ittustrative of ike requiremenis 
of the Franciscan Rule in the matters of poverty, obedience, humility, 
etc., this collection of incidents of the Life of St. Francis, which 
explained his relation to aU these virtues, and in which the Friars 
Minor of the fourteenth century could see themselves as in a looking- 

In this work we have not only Brother Leo's schedule, but also 
all that Brother Bernard, Brother Masseo and the other "old 
Brothers" had told in the various convents and which had been 
written down and preserved. 

ejus, quo6 apud me habeo, manu ejusdem fratris Leonls conscriptia. (Hubert's 
Declaration cited by Sabatier, Spec, ptrf.^ p. 150.) 

In the catalogue of 1381 of the convent library in the Sacro Convento tn 
Assisi, there is named a Uber dictorum beati Francisci in papiro el sine posUbus, 
cuius principium est: Quid fadet homo in omni temptatione, finis vero: Qratio, 
saepe est premittenda insidias. Like so man}^ manuscripts of this kind in 
the above library, this book cannot be found. (Da CivezEa-DominicfaeUi, 
p. XCVn, n. I.) 

* G«tz, '*Quaien," p. 152. 

sTilemann, loc. dt, pp. IX11-X13. 


b. Legenda aniiqua 

The years following directly after the appearance of the Specu- 
lum perfectionis brought better times for the ideal party within the 
Order. Gonzalvo of Balboa, who was General from 1303 to 13 16, 
and Michael of Cesena (1316-1328) both desired to restore the 
old spirit; and to bring this about the last named, in spite of the 
decree of 1263, used to have read at meal-times, even in the great 
Franciscan convent at Avignon, a legend which was designated as 
''the old legend," and which therefore was not Bonaventure's new 
one. That he risked something in doing so he very well knew, 
and he therefore had it announced that he had only brought 
forward this legend to show that even it, without any criticism of 
Bonaventure, was "true, useful, authentic and good."^ 

Under the title Legenda aniiqua several manuscripts have been 
preserved in reasonable accordance with each other, the most 
important in the library of the Vatican. In the preface to this 
manuscript we are told that although "Herr Mester Bonaven« 
tura's" work is beautiful and good, yet there are several things, 
both notable and useful, omitted therefrom, such as Frauds' 
zeal for poverty, for hiunility, for charity, for the exact observance 
of the Rule, of which a part can be read in the "old legend" of 
which Bonaventure has copied a great part, and long passages 
word for word, and a part is found in "true words of the friends of 
St. Francis, which are put into writing by experienced men in the 
Order." The writer says that he knew both "the old legend" 
and the "true words" from his student days in Avignon when 
the General had the old legend read at meal-times; to this he adds 
in the present manuscript other references to a book which be- 
longed to "our honorable father and lord. Brother Frederick, 
Archbishop of Riga, a very learned man of our Order," together 
with a treatise on St. Frauds' and his faithful disdples' lives 
and actions.^ 

i(Qu£dain vero sumpta et reparata sunt de) legenda veteri ipsius sancti 
quam et generalis minister me prsesente et aliquoties legente fedt sibi et fratri- 
bus legi ad mensam in Avinione ad ostendendimi earn esse veram, utilem et 
autenticam atque bonam. (Legenda aniiqua. Sabatier, CoUecUon, 1, pp. 
152-161, and Tilemann, pp. 1 20-121.) Compiler's preface to the Legenda 
antiquay Vatican MS. No. 4354. The MS. contains in almost unbroken 
sequence 57 chapters of Speculum perfectionis , along with a quantity of other 
material, especially Actus {Fiorettt). 

' plura tamen valde notabilia et utilia, zelum caritatis, humilitatis et pau- 
pertatis, necnon drca praedictorum et regula totius observationem, inten- 
tionem et voluntatem ipsius sancti experimentia, tarn in legenda veteri, dc qua 


A Franciscan from the provinces about the Baltic Sea, who had 
studied in Avignon under Michael of Cesena, and who later had 
access to a book about St. Francis in possession of the Archbishop 
Frederick of Riga, therefore was the author of this compilation. 
He refers to various authorities, which it is not always easy to 
distinguish from one another. In referring to the ''veritable 
words of St. Francis' friends," which are ''put into manuscript 
by reliable men in our Order," it seems clear that he was thinking 
of the Speculum perfectionis, which at this time had just been 
brought out; therefore he has, also, the expressions zdum carikUis, 
kumilikUis et paupertatis as titles for the different sections of the 
Speculum. It is also the Speculum which treats of Frands' zeal 
for an exact observance of the Rule. 

On the other hand, it is not very dear ¥^at kind of an "old 
legend" it is of which Bonaventure has copied much, but has 
also left out much of the most important character. Sabatier 
holds that this is the Speculum perfectionis^ but Bonaventure 
used nothing of this (see page 379, n. 2). It is more reasonable, 
as Tilemann does, to consider it a complete Three Brothers^ Legend,^ 
Of this Bonaventiure used much and left out more — something 
which Hubert of Casale complained about. This must be the book 
which Michael of Cesena, while General, used to have read at 
meal-times in Avignon. 

From Bishop Frederick's book the compilers have only taken 
a few mirades, although of rare and impressive nature (rara ei 
ardua); on the other hand, the writings of St. Frauds' friends 
seem to be a more important source in which his and their lives 
and actions are told of. This collection, in connection with which 

idem fr. Bonaventura saepius longas orationes et passus de verbo ad verbum In 
suam legendam posuit, quam etiam ex dictis veridids aanctonim sodorum b. 
Fnindsd per viros probatos ordinis redactis in scriptis, quorum sodorum vita 
sancta . . . ipsonun dicta et testimonia credibilia reddit, in imis cum essem 
studens in Avinione reperi, quorum aliqua . . . coUegi et inferius annotavi. 

Posui autem primo rara et ardua facta seu miracula patris nostri qus in 
legenda nova, ut praedidtur, non habentur; quorum quxdam in libro reverend! 
patris et domini fratris Friderid archiepiscopi Rigensis, ordinis nostri studi- 
osissimi viri. . . . Quedam vero sumpta et reparata sunt de legenda veteii 
ipsius sancti quam et generalis minister me praesente et aliquoties legente 
fedt sibi et fratribus legi ad mensam in Avinione. . . . Nonnulla vero sumpta 
de scriptis sanctorum sancti praedicti sodorum, vitam sancti et gesta, sodo- 
rumque sanctorum ejus ezperimentia. . . . Demum etiam quaedam de sancto 
Antonio rara scripsi et de sancto fratre Johanne de Alvemia. . . . (Printed in 
Sabatier and Tilemann, as above.) 

^ Sabatier, Spec, perf., p. 153, n. x. TUemann, p. 133. 


the author of the preface gives some narrations about St. Anthony 
of Padua and about Brother John of Mt. Alvema, reveals itself 
thereby as identical with the AcHis b. Francisci et sociarum qus; 
that is to say, with the andent text of the FioreUi^ of whose chap- 
ters so very many are devoted to St. Anthony and the ecstatic 
Brother from Alvema. 

The compilers entitled all this material Legenda afUiqua, under 
the impression of a certain concordance, both with each other and 
with the "old legends" read in Avignon. As the Franciscan 
Frederick Baron was Archbishop of Riga from 1304 till his death 
in 1340,^ it must have been written during this period. As the 
Speadum perfectumis is quoted in it, the authorship of the work 
must be later than 1318. As the Pope in 1328 removed Michael 
of Cesena, and the preface shows no knowledge of this punish- 
ment of the bold churchman, we have to concede that the ooUec* 
tion belongs between 1318 and 1328. 

c. Actus beati Francisci e$ sociorium ejus 


This manuscript is older than the Legenda antiquay the compiler 
of which has adopted a great part of it and dtes it as one of his 
sources. It appears in many manuscripts united and even mixed 
in with the Speculum perfectionis; possibly it can be regarded in 
part as the remains of the narrations, unavailable for the last named 
work, that are told by "the andent Brothers." 

The core of the Actus is the group of tales which relate to 
Brother Bernard, Brother Masseo, Brother Rufino, Brother 
Silvester, St. Clara and Brother Leo; undoubtedly this part of 
the work had its origin in the real Franciscan tradition, of whose 
richness we may form an idea when we remember that tales such 
as those about Brother Leo, who said the Breviary with St. Frau- 
ds and always answered wrongly, or such as those about the per- 
fect joy, were here first put into writing.* 

On this foundation a series of chapters about other promi- 
nent Franciscans were subsequently erected; Brother Conrad of 

^Sabatier, CoUectum, I, p. 158, n. i; IV, p. 17, n. i. Eubel: Hierarckia 
caik,, p. 442. 

' The origin of one chapter is explained by Brother Leo in the work itself, 
the proof coming through a succession of witnesses. See close of chapter 9: 

l6tnc historiam habuit frater Jacobus de Massa ab ore fratris Leonis et 
frater Hugolinus de monte Sancta Mariae ab ore dicti fratris Jacobi, et ego 
qui scripsi ab ore fratris Hugoliiii viri per omnia fide digni. (Adus^ ed. Saba- 
tier, p. 39.) 


Offida, Brother Giles, Brother John of La Vema (d. 1322) here 
play a prominent rdle. Sabatier believes that he can indicate 
Brother Hugolin of Monte Giorgio as the author of this portion, of 
whom we know nothing else than that he was called by Celestin V 
to fill the Bishop's throne in Teramo in the Abruzzi, while Boni- 
face VIII, on December 12, 1295, cancelled this selection.^ Some- 
times Brother Hugolin seemed to appear as the author of the work; 
thus in Chap. LXIX, 21, ''and all these things Brother John him- 
self told me, Hugolin." In other places, as in the end of Chap. DC, 
Hugolin was referred to by the author as the original source, as a 
link in the chain, which by Brother Jacob of Massa leads back 
to Brother Leo.' The whole question is, however, of secondary 
importance; the principal thing is that in the Aclus — of whidi 
the Fioretti is the Italian translation or development — we have a 
series of Franciscan traditions collected with diligence, of which 
many never strayed far from the convent in Grecdo, where Leo, 
Angelo, and^Rufino two generations earlier plucked their flares. 

From the first Franciscan centuries many works could be named 
which in any case have a certain degree of value as sources, such 
as the manuscript Actus b. Francisci in voile ReaUna^ improperly 
ascribed to Angelo Tancredi, and of which some pages are printed 
in Sabatier's edition of the Specidum perfectionis, pp. 256 et al.; 
Brother Francesco Bartholi's book on the Portiuncula Indulgence 
of about 1335, published by Sabatier in the second volume of his 
Collection d^Studes, Paris, 1900; GnaMy Commercium beati Francisci 
cum domina pauper tote (perhaps written in 1227 by John of Parma, 
edited by Alvisi, Citta di Castello, 1894, and by d'Alengon, Rome, 
1900), a work which has significance, since Dante evidently derived 
from it the principal idea for his celebrated lines about St. Francis 
in the eleventh Canto of // Paradise. 

Moreover, after the publication of the Speculum and the Actus^ 
there came a time of compilation, of combination and even con- 
fusion. If it is a question of titles, they are mixed together, and 
thus the great work of Brother Fabian of Hungary appears as 
Speculum viUe beati Francisci et sociorum ejus, written in the last 
half of the fourteenth century and published in Venice in 1504, 
and many times since then in more or less changed and impaired 
forms, eventually (Cologne, 1623) as Antiquitates frandscanae, 
"written by Brothers Fabian, Hugolin, and other Friars Minor 

^ Actus t ed. Sabatier, p. 20. 

'The best editions of the Italian Fioretti are those of Caesari (Verona, 
1822), and of Fomaciari (Florence, 1902, CoUezione Diamante). 


contemporaneous with the divine Francis" ^ (I) The author tells 
about himself, that he visited Mt. Alvema in the year 1343. 
Probably he is identical with the Brother Fabian from Hungary 
who in 1330 and 1337 was Inquisitor in Hungary and Bosnia.' 

A working over of all the important material, which little by 
little accumulated, is what we have in Bartholomew of Pisa's 
Canfarmitaies, that series of parallels between Christ and Francis 
which are carried out with such great acuteness and comprehensive 
scope of learning. Bartholomew of Pisa's work, which was b^^un 
in 1385 and was received at the Chapter of the Order in Pisa 
August 2, 1399, with thanks and praise, is founded on the most 
exact knowledge of the sources of information, combined with a 
critical sense of their values. "Of this thing or of that thing," 
one can thus see him declare, " I have not found anything in authen* 
tic sources, but on the other hand they are shown in pictures and 
inscriptions in several places. My Brother Bonaventure does not 
tell this in his legend, his reason being unknown to me, because 
it is partly told by Bernard of Bessa and partly confirmed by a 
document witnessed by a notary public." * This comparative and 
discursive method of progress we usually find in Bartholomew of 
Pisa, and his method is a predecessor of modem methods. 


a. Histories of the Order 

I. Jordanus of Giano^s Ckronide of the Franciscan arrival in 
Germany. It begins with Francis's conversion in 1207 and ends 
1238. Brother Jordanus himself tells how he, "in the year of the 
Lord 1262, after the Chapter in Halberstadt, remained in the same 
convent where the Chapter was held" and tiiere dictated his book 
to Brother Balduin of Brandenburg.* While Jordanus' Chronicle 

^auctoribus ff. Fabiano et HugoUno et aliis minoribus Divo Francisco 
coaevis, castigatore autem et emendatore R. P. Philippo Bosquierio. . . . 
Cbloniae, MDCXXIII. 

* Analecta Pranciscana, III, pp. 9-10. 

' De isto in loco authentico non reperi, sed depictum et scriptum in pluribus 
k)cis inveni. Sed de nullo praefatorum dominus fr. Bonaventura facit men- 
tionem, et quid fuerit in causa ignoro: cum tamen de primo dictus Bemardus 
Bessa facit mentionem, et secundum de scriptura publica notarii rq>eri Flor- 
entiae transscriptum. (ConformilaUs, i5io« p. 149a.) 

* Anno ergo Domini MCCLXII post . . . capitulum Halberstadense . . . 
in loco capituli remanentes, me narrante et fratre Baldawino scribente . . . 
qui et sponte et a frate Bartholomaeo, tunc ministro Saxonis, jussus se 
obtulit ab scribendum. (Anal, Franciscana, 1, p. z.) 


is considered by several, such as Carl MtiUer and van Ortroy, as 
an authority of the first rank from the point of view of chronology, 
it is proper to remember that Jordanus himself, on the first page of 
his book, remarks that he now is an old man, and therefore can 
easily make an error in one or the other of his dates.^ 

Jordanus' Chronicle was first published by G. Voigt {Memara- 
bilia des Minoriten Jord. v. Giano" in ''Abhandlungen der s^cha. 
Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften," philos.-hist. Klasse, 1870); 
later, after a Berlin manuscript in Analeda Franciscana, I (Quar 
racchi, 1885). A new and complete edition is announced (1905) t^ 
H. Boehmer as the second volume of Sabatier's Opuscules. 

n. The first volume of the Analeda Franciscana contains Brother 
Thomas Ecdestan's Chronicle of the Brothers' coming to £ngland, 
including the period 1224 to 1250, written 1264 to 1274. The first 
edition is by Brewer in Rtr, hrU. script.: Monumenta Franciscana^ I 
(London, 1858), and Howlett, same, Vol. 11 (London, 1882). 

ni. Salimbene^s Chronicle. Brother Salimbene degli Adami of 
Parma — or, as he at home and among friends was called, Onme- 
bonum, ''All good" — was bom on October 9, 1221, and entered 
the Franciscan Order in 1238. He knew Brother Bernard of Quin- 
tavalle, with whom he spent a winter in the convent in Siena, 
and from whose lips he and the other young men heard many 
great things about St. Frands; he also knew Brother Leo, who told 
him that St. Francis after his death looked exactly like one who 
had been crucified and taken down from the Cross, as well as the 
last Brothers whom St. Frands recdved into the Order, and whom 
Salimbene met in a hermitage near CivitiL di CasteUo (presumably 
Monte Casale).' His Chronide, written 1 282-1 287, covers the 
years 1 167-1287; the edition published at Parma in 1857 is incom* 
plete and contains only the period 1212-1287. See Em. Michael, 
Salimbene und seine Chronik (Innsbruck, 1889). 

IV. Catalogue of the first twenty-four Generals of the Order. 
Originally written about 1297, continued later up to 1305. It was 

^ Super annorum vero numero sicubi per oblivionem, utpote jam aenex et 
debilis, ut homo erravi, veniam postulo ab lectore {ihid.y p. 2). 

' sicut dixit mihi frater Leo sociiis suus ... in mozte videbatur recte sicut 
unus crudfizus de cnice depositus. (Ckronicaj p. 75.) A sodis vero et a 
familia dicebar Omnibonum. . . . Cumque de Marchia Anconitana irem ad 
habitandimi in Tusciam et tiansirem per Civitatem de CasteUo, inveni in 
heremo quendam nobilem fratrem antiquum ... qui IIII Alios milites babe- 
bat in sieculo. Hie fuit ultimus frater, quern b. Frandscus et induit et recepit 
ad ordinem, ut retulit mihi. . . . Vidi etiam et primum sc. fr. Bemardum de 
Quintavalle, cum quo in conventu Senensi uno hyeme habitavi . . . et nnhi et 
aliis juvenibus de beato Frandsco multa magnalia referebat {Ckromca, p. 11). 


already published in 1504 in the Speculum vitae, then in the third 
volume of Analecta FranciscanCf by Ehrle in ''Zeitschcr. f. kath. 
Theologie, "VII (Innsbruck, 1883), p. 338, and in P. Hilarin Felder's 
edition of Bernard of Bessa (Rome, 1897). 

V. The Ckranides of the (first) twenty-four Generals of the Order. 
The author of this work, of which a great part of the material is 
taken from the Actus b. Prancisci^ was a Franciscan from the 
Province of Aquitania, because this province was the only one 
the names of whose Generals he knew. Wadding (1373, n. 24; 
1374, n. 16) believes that the author might be that Brother Arnold 
of Serrano of whom Bartholomew of Pisa (ConformUates^ I, 
fructus XI) tells us that he ''wrote out all he could find about 
the blessed Francis." Gregory XI sent this Brother Arnold to 
Spain to reform the convents of the Minorites and Clares in Castile. 
As a consequence of the Civil War many Brothers and Sisters 
of this coimtry were driven out of their convents and wandered 
about, while at the same time in many convents ''irregular cus- 
toms and abuses" had been introduced (ifregulares consuetudines 
et d^armikUes). 

Chronica XXIV generdUumy which is its Latin title, was written 
in its essential parts before 1369. Under headings 1337 and 1360 
the author expresses his wishes for the canonization of the pious 
royal pair Elz^ar and Ddphina, which took place in 1369. The 
Chronicle begins by relating the history of St. Francis and the 
earlier Brothers, and is continued down to 1374. Its author had 
the best sources for his work; thus we can recognize material 
from Cdano's two biographies, from the traditional Three Broth- 
ers' Legend, from St. Bonaventure and Bernard of Bessa. It is 
doubtful if Brother Arnold used Salimbene and Eccleston; on the 
other hand he has taken much from Speculum vitae, Legenda antiqua 
(as these are nowextant in the Vatican, Manuscript 43 54) and from 
the Actus (Pioretti), and from Hubert of Casale. He has further- 
more drawn upon a collection, Dicta fratris Leonis ("Sayings of 
Brother Leo"), from a now lost Chronicon breve, that is ascribed 
to Brother Pilgrim of Bologna,^ and finally used verbal tradition. 
Bis work was used a great deal by Mariano of Florence, Marcus 
of Lisbon, Rudolf of Tossignano and Wadding. It is published 
in Analecta Franciscana, IH (Quaracchi, 1897). 

VI. John of Komorowo^s Chronicle is especially devoted to the 
Order's Polish province, was written about 1512, and comes do¥m 

^See Sbaialea: SuPfiemenhtm ad Scnptons trium ordinum, p. 579, and 
Denifle in "Archiv f. Litt. u. Kgsch.," I, p. 145. 


to 1S03. It is published by Zdssberg in Arckiv. /. osterr. Gesck,, 
Bd. 49 (1872). Brother John died in 1536 and wrote the year 
before his death a Memariale ardinis fratrum minorum, published, 
1886, by Liske and Lorkiewicz. See Eubel in Historisches Jahr- 
buck, 1889, pp. 383 ff., 570 ff . 

VII. Glassberger's Ckronide. Nicholas Glassberger entered the 
Franciscan Order in the year 1472 and for some time was confessor 
for the Clares in Nuremberg. He was a very diligent writer, who 
among other things copied with his own ha^d the Chronica XXIV 
generalium, together with the Three Brothers' Legend; a Tyrolean 
manuscript of this work from his hand contains the following 
concluding note: ''The eve of the Vigil of Christmas in the year 
of the Lord 1491 ends for me, Brother Nicholas Glassberger, in 
great cold and discomfort, owing to the nature of the weather." ^ 
In 1498 1^ published Brother Louis of Prussia's TrUogium animae^ 
and in 1508 he was progressing with the writing of his Chronicle. 
He had for his authorities the Chronicle of the twenty-four Gen- 
erals, the Three Brothers' Legend and Bartholomew of Pisa; the 
Friars' establishment in Germany he described after Giordano of 
Giano; finally he quotes also Brother Jacob Oddi's Italian Chron- 
icle of the fifteenth century.^ 

Glassberger's Chronicle is published in the AnaUcta Pranciscanaf 
n (Quaracchi, 1887). See Eubel in Hisi. Jakrbuchy 1899, pp. 376 
et seq. 

Vni. Writings of Angdo Clareno. This celebrated leader of 
the "Zealous" among the Brothers (f zdanU) was also called Peter 
of Fossombrone. He entered the convent in Cingole and from 
1265 joined the zelanti in Mark Ancona. Of the first disciples he 
knew Brother Angelo of Rieti, Brother Giles, Brother Leo (see 
page^ 382, n. 3), and the Brother John, otherwise unknown, who is 

^ Explicit in provigilia nativitatis Dni, 1491, per me fratrem Nioolauin Glass- 
berger in magno frigore et incommoditate juzta temporis qualitatem. {Anal. 
Franc., II, p. 5.) 

* Giacomo da Oddi from Perugia was guardian in Portiuncula omvent about 
1485 and in 1474 wrote his Specchio deU^ Ordine minare, usually called la Fr<m- 
cescHna. The original manuscript is now in Communal Library in Perugia 
and fonnerly bel<mged to the Franciscan convent of Monte Ripido near Perugj. 
When in the chronicle of the Convent of the Clares of Monte Luce for the year 
Z574, under the date of February 5, it is said of this book, that it/w pa composto 
da un reoerendo padre chiamato fra Edigio da Perugia, tJiere is imdoubtedly a 
confusion with the writings, which are due to the celebrated disdple of St. 
Francis of this name. (Aegidio in English is Giles.) La Prancesckina contains 
much material of interest by some third writer. See MisceUanea Francescana, 
VI, 37; LV, 87, 127, 146-150. 


mentioned in the prologue to the Three Brothers* Legend.^ He 
died June 15, 1339, in Santa Maria de Aspro, near the dty of 
Marsico in south Italy. Of him Sabatier says: "We see in him 
the revival of a true Franciscan, one^f those men who, while 
entirely desirous of being submissive sons of the Church, could 
not resign themselves to permitting the ideal which they had 
embraced to disappear in the realm of imagination. They often 
came near to heresy; in their words against the bad priests and 
unworthy pontiffs there is a bitterness which the sectaries of the 
sixteenth century would not exceed. . . . And yet Protestantism 
would do wrong in seeking their ancestors among these. No, they 
wished to die, as they had lived, in the communion of this Church, 
which they loved with a heroic passion, the same with which certain 
former French noblemen, even in 1793, loved France, and poured 
out their blood for it, although it was governed by the Jacobins.'' 

As the essence of the doctrine of Angelo Clareno's spiritual 
doctrines, Sabatier quotes the following beautiful words in one of 
his letters: Totum igitur sPudium esse debet quod unum insepara-^ 
biUier simus per Pranciscum in Chrisio^ "Our whole desire should 
be that we are inseparably one in Christ through Francis," and 
Sabatier ends his description of him thus: 

"Clareno and his friends were of those violent souls who would 
assail the kingdom of heaven. Thus when, at the end of the 
frivolities and sterile preoccupations of the every-day world, we 
find ourselves face to face with these men, we are at once humbled 
and uplifted, for we find suddenly, hidden in human hearts, hitherto 
unexpected powers and unknown melody controlled by them." * 

Angelo Clareno's writings fall into three groups: 

(i) Episkia excusahria, an apology for his and his friends' re- 
form movement, presented to Pope John XXII in the year 1317. 
It is published by Ehrle (A rchivf. LiU. u. Kirchengesch. , I, pp. 52 1 ff .). 

(3) ''Letter-book" {Uber epistolarum beaii Angeli de Clareno). 
The Augustinian hermit Simon of Cassia (according to Ossinger, 
Biblioth. Augustiniana^ p. 214; d. February 2, 1340) brought out a 
collection of letters of his friend and teadier Angelo. It is, how- 
ever, uncertain that diis collection is quite identical with those in 
two manuscripts still in existence. Part of the letters were written 
from Avignon (1311-1318), part from the vicinity of Rome (1318- 
ca. 1336), some finally from S. Maria de Aspro. A selection of 
the letters is given by Ehrle {Archiv I, pp. 543-569). 

* Ehrle, "Archiv" II, p. 279. Sabatier: Vie de 5. Francois (1894), p. CV. 

* Sabatier: VU de S. Fr. (1894)1 IfUroditOum, pp. Cn-CIII. 


(3) Historia septem tribuhUianum ordinis minorum. '^ICstory 
of the seven tribulations of the Minorite Order." The seven 
tribulations which according to Clareno descended upon the Order 
of St. Francis are (i) Th| Vicariate of Elias of Cortona, (2) his 
Generalship, (3) the Generalship of Crescentius of Jesi, (4) the 
Generalship of Bonaventure, (5) the persecutions of the strict 
Franciscans between 1274 and 1304 (from the coimdl of Lyons 
to the death of the Inquisitor, Thomas d'Aversas), (6) the perse- 
cutions between 1308 and 1323 (the time of the appearance of the 
Speculum perfecHonis), finally (7) the Pontificate of John XXII. 

"The history of the seven tribulations" occupied in its writing 
a long series of years, the earlidbt section about 13 14, the latest 
about 1330. It is incompletely given by Ehrle {Arckh II, pp. 
108-163 and 249-336). A complete edition was prepared by 
Felice Tocco for Sabatier's CottecHon d'Hudes a de documents.^ 

b. Authoriiies outside of the Order 

I. Papal bulls and other Instruments of diplomatic or judicial 
character. To this belong the bulls of Honorius III and Gregory 
IX, and letters in favor of the Franciscan Order, in Sbaralea's 
BuUarium. franciscanum continued by Eubel, and in Pressuti's 
and Auvray's new edition of Registers of Honorius III and Gr^- 
ory IX. Here belongs Hugolin's Register published by Levi in 
Fonti per la Storia dell' Italia; here too is best assigned the Count 

^ See Ehrle's various treatments of the Vienna Council. (''Archiv" 11, 
353-416 and III, i-igs), of Petrus Johannes Olivi ("Archiv" in, 409-552), 
of Fraticelli and Spirituales ("Archiv" I, 158-164, IT, 653-669, III, 533 ct 
seq., rV, 1-200.) Ehrle's edition of the oldest constitutions of the Fiandacan 
Order is also important C' Archiv " VI, 1-138). It contains the reaoluticMis of 
the General Chapters from before 13x6, after older printed woria and after 
z6 dififerent manuscripts. 

The following may be counted among the histories of the Order: 

Mariano of Florence's Ckronicle^ which goes down to i486. This exists 
only in manuscript and was used by Wadding. Mariano died 1527. Notes 
on hb life and work have been collected by Sabatier in the second vohune ol 
his CoUecUon d'Studes, pp. 137-146. 

Mark of Lisbon's Chronicle, written in Spanish about 1550. The author 
died about 1580. It came out in Salamanca, 1626; in German translatioa, 
Munich, 1720. 

Rudolph of Tossignano's Historia Seraphka rdiponis (Venice, 1586). 

The work of the General of the Order, Gonzaga, entitled De origme sera- 
phica reUgionis (Rome, 1587. Venice, 1603), with a description of all the 
Frandacan convents. 

Sedulius: Historia Seraphica (Antwerp, 16x3). 


of Chiusi's Letter of Donation of La Vema, issued July 9, 1274^ 
and reprinted by Sbaralea in Bull. Franc,, IV, p. 156. 

2. Jacob of Vitry's Letters and his description of St. Francis 
and the Franciscans in the second book of Historia occidentalism 
Of the letters, one was written in Genoa, October, 12 16, the second 
in the Holy Land, in the end of August, 1220, after personal inter- 
course with St. Francis before Damietta 1219. They are therefore 
authorities of the very highest value. The Historia occidentalism 
according to the preface, was begun about 1220 and was probably 
completed before the return from the Holy Land in 1227. 

The first letter is published in NouveUes mimoires de Vacademie 
de BruxeUeSy XXHI, pp. 29-33, and in better shape in Brieger's 
" Zeitschr. f . Kirchengesch.," XIV, pp. 101-106. The second letter 
is given in Bongar's Gesta Dei per francos (1611, pp. 1047 f.). His- 
taria occidentalis was printed in Douai in 1597. The letters, to- 
gether with the corre^x>nding chapters of the HisL occ,, are to be 
found in Boehmer's Analekten, pp. 94-106. 

Jacob of Vitry was Canon in Oignies in northern France, after- 
wards was Bishop of Acre in the Holy Land, and after his return 
was Cardinal Bi^op of Frascati. He died in 1244. 

3. Thomas of Spalato's (and not, as Boehmer, Analekteny p. 
Ixi, erroneously writes it, Spoleto) Testimony about St. Francis^ 
preaching in Bologna in 1220. Printed in Sigonius, De episcopis 
Bonaniensibus (Bologna, 1586), in Monum, Germ. Scriptores (XXK, 
p. 580), in Wadding, 1220, n. 8, and in Acta Sanctorum (Oct. U, 
p. 842). 

4. Finally, a series of contemporaneous authors, who in their 
writings accord St. Francis a more or less explicit description, such 
as the Dominican Vincent of Beauvais (d. 1264) in the 30th and 
31st books of his Speculum kistoriale; his fellow Dominican Jacob 
ofVaraggio in "The Golden Legend"; St. Anthony of Florence in 
the third part (Tit. 24, cap. 7) of his chronicle; Pietro dei Nadali 
(d. shortly before 1406) in his Catalogus sanctorum; the Abbot 
Albert of Stade in his Annals; the unreliable Matthew of Paris in 
his Historia major y etc. 

c. Modern Works 

1. The series of modem authors on the subject of St. Francis 
begins with the Irish Franciscan, Luke Wadding. This zealous 
investigator and indefatigable worker treats in his Annates Mine- 
rum (8 vols., Rome, 1625) the whole of the history of St. Francis, 
together with the history of the Order up to 1540. His work has 



only one defect, but which was not his fault — outside of St. Bona- 
venture he only knew the oldest biographers through Bartholomew 
of Pisa, Mariano of Florence and Marcus of Lisbon. It is the 
decree of 1263 which this late biographer of St. Frauds had to 
suffer for. 

Candide Chalippe's well known and much read book on St. 
Francis (1728) is based entirely upon Wadding's Annals. 

2. It is the BoUandists, first Stilling and after his death Suysken, 
to whom honor is due for having again brought forward a part of 
the old biographies. In the second October volmne of the Ada 
Sanctorum, published 1768, Celano's VUa prima and the traditional 
fragment of the Three Brothers* Legend are printed for the first time, 
together with a whole series of fragments of Julian of Speier and the 
Anonymous of Perugia, In a detailed conunentary and a com- 
prehensive collection of Analectaj still further material is collected. 
Carl Hase's biography of St. Frands of 1856 is entirdy based on 
this material. . 

3. The third development in the field of Franciscan research is 
due to an Italian Frandscan, Nicolo Papini, in his two works, 
characterized by a sharply critical spirit, NoHzie sicure sopra s. 
Francesco (Florence, 1822, and Foligno, 1824), together with Slaria 
de S. Francesco, opera crUica (2 volumes, Foligno, 1825). Since 
1806 the world was in possession not only of Thomas of Celano's 
first biography, but also of his Vila secunda, and Papini now built 
up his book with these two works as foundation. And that he did 
not use biographies later than the time of Celano — even the Pio- 
reUi is among those omitted — is only what was to be expected; 
those who originate a new prindple are always inclined to cany 
it too far. Papini's error in this respect is ridily made up for by 
Ozanam {Les poHes franciscains d'ltalie, Paris, 1852), by Chaving 
de Malan {Vie de S, Franqois d* Assise, Paris, 1841), by Leon Le 
Monnier {Histoire de S, Franqois d* Assise, Paris, 1889). 

4. The most recent studies on Frandscan research came under 
the names of Karl Miiller (Die Anfdnge des Minoriienordens under 
Busshruderschaften, Frdburg, 1885), Henry Thode {Der U. Prans 
von Assisi und die Anfdnge der Kunst der Renaissance in Italien^ 
Berlin, 1885, new edition, 1904), and Paul Sabatier (Vie de 5. 
Franqois d* Assise, Paris, 1894, 32d edition, 1904). Sabatier must 
again and again be extolled as the one to whom the renaissance 
of interest in St. Frands and his Order is essentially due. All 
that has been written since his work appeared — by Lempp, van 
Ortroy, Lemmens, Mandonnet, Minocchi, G5tz, Tilemann, Boeb- 


mer, FeLder^ Gustav Sdmurer — is to be regarded as a oontinuation 
of Sabatier or as refutation of him. Even the author of the present 
book stands in such a relation to Paul Sabatier, and recognizes 
it here with deference and tha^nkfulness. 

Conditions which I could not control prevented me from 
writing this book at one time. A space of a year intervened be- 
tween the writing of the first portion (the first two books and the 
appendix) and the remainder. As the work was only printed long 
after much of the text was written, it was inevitable in these days^ 
so rich in Franciscan literature, that more than one new work 
should have been published. The attentive reader will have felt 
this trouble in reading the appendix. In order in some d^ee to 
compensate for this imperfection, a swnmary is here given of the 
last contributions to this line of research. 

First and foremost, Boehmer's "Analekten zur Geschichte des 
Frandscus von Assisi" is to be naihed. In the text of my book 
it is often used and dted. It contains not only (like the Quaracchi 
edition) the unquestioned real Latin writings of Francis of Assisi, 
but also the uncertain ones, the fragments as well as the Sun Song. 
There is also given the most important of the testimony concern- 
ing the Rules of the Order, the stigmatization, and the parts of 
the work of Jacques de Vitry, so important in the history of the 
Order. Finally, it gives a review of the literature about St. Frauds, 
with an exact and comprehensive index to the history of St. 
Frands and of his Order from 1182 to 1340. 

The latter is open to few criticisms. It is undoubtedly incorrect 
to state, as on p>age 128, that the Regula prima in its existing form 
was submitted to the Pentecost Chapter of May 30, 1221. Jor- 
danus of Giano says, clearly enough, that this Rule came into 
existence after this Chapter. Boehmer in his Introduction, p. 
xxxix, written apparently at a later period, seems dear on tUs 
point. Could he have been unable to correct it in the index? — 
Again he is certainly wrong, when he places St. Francis' last stay 
in San Damiano {Spec, perf., c. 100) in October, 1224. Frands 
left La Vema only on September 30 of the same year. He 
then travelled in slow progress to CittiL di Castello, where he 
remained an entire month. In snowy weather he thus crossed 
the Apennines, at the earliest about the first of November —-see 
page 305 of this book. But the climate of Assisi in the month 
of November is such that one could not sleep in a wattle hut, 


as Frauds did during the residence in question at San Damiano. 
Therefore it must be assigned to the next summer (1225), and 
what the Speculum tells in chapter loz of the dispute between the 
PodestSt and the Bishop, which Francis stopped by having the Sun 
Song chanted, undoubtedly did not take place in the fall of 1224, 
but between May and September, 1 2 26. Francis then lay sick in the 
Bishop's palace, and the reconciliation took place then and there. 
The account of this in the Speculum naturally falls into chapters 
122-123, which Boehmer rightly assigns to the period in question. 

Next referring to the oldest biographies, thanks to the Vicar- 
General of the Order, Rev. Edouard d'Alengon, we now possess 
an excellent edition of all the woiks of Thomas of Celano, the 
biographer of St. Francis: VUa primal Vita secutida^ Tractaiius de 
miraculiSf the short legend for liturgical use, together with the 
two sequences composed by Thomas — SanctUaHs ncva sigua and 
FregU victor virtualis. In the Vita seamda d'Alengon has removed 
the third part of the work introduced by Amoni, and has put in 
the original third portion (Amoni's pars II and III — pars II in 
d'Alen^n. Where I in this work have used d'Alen^on's edition, 
I have always noted it Moreover, a table in d'Alen^on makes it 
easy to find quotations taken from Amoni). The large and 
beautifully printed book was published by Desdte, Lefebvre et 
Cie. in Rome, and bears the title S. Prancisci Assisensis Vita H 
miracula^ odditis opuscuUs UturgiciSf auctore Pr. Thoma de Cdamo 
(Ixxxvii + 481 pp.). 

The work of the Englishman, Rosedale, published in 1904, 51. 
Prancis of Assisi, according to Brother Thomas cf Celano (London, 
Dent and Co., xxxiv + 174 pp.), can only be regarded as an 
unsuccessful attempt to get first to the mill with one's grain. 
Rosedale made good use of d'Alen^n's guidance, but his edition 
cannot be designated by a milder word than a hasty and per- 
functory performance. He has had the curious idea of first print- 
ing one MS. (from Assisi) and' then the other (from Marseilles), 
instead of comparing the two manuscripts of the Vita secunda 
and so producing a critical text. As the two relations are thus 
given in succession, the whole produces a very bewildering effect. 
It is done in very good style, but is full of printer's errors (on the 
title page of Vita secunda ^ for instance, we read ^^de Assisii^*). 
D'Alengon has pointed out a quantity of wrong readings in the 
Prolegomena to his own edition (pp. Ixxii-bcxv). 

In his well-known collection so often dted in this book, Opus^ 
cules de Critique (I, pp. 69 et seq.), Paul Sabatier, following the 


Liegnitz MS. of the Legenda anHqua^ calls attoition to seven 
chapters, which according to his views are the remains of the 
original Three Brothers' Legend (Legenda vetus^ see page 391 of this 
book). Meanwhile van Ortroy has found the same chapters in 
Angelo Clareno's CommefUaries on the Rules of the Order just as 
they are found in a manuscript of the fourteenth century in 
S. Isidoro in Rome (Anal, BoU.^ XXX, pp. 441 et seq.). Clareno's 
commentary, where the chapters, according to van Ortroy, belong, 
is to appear in Sabatier's Opuscules, 

Even if the learned BoUandist is right in his contention, the 
contents of the chapters in question may very well have their 
origin in the old Three Brothers' Legend. Moreover, the con- 
viction is formed more and more that the various names of the 
original Frandscan writers are of little weight. It appears clear 
that there are really only three original sources for the biography 
of St. Francis of Assisi: 

(i) Frauds' writings. 

(2) Thomas of Celano's Vita prima. 

(3) All that directly or indirectly can be referred back to Brother 
Leo and his friends. From Brother Leo's roUdi and the other 
scriptafralrum anUquorum originate (a) the Grecdo collection from 
1246 = the original Three Brothers' Legend (Legenda veius); (b) 
Celano's ViUi secunda^ with portions of the Treatise on Mirades 
(§32 = Spec, 113; §§37-38 = Spec. 112); (c) Speculum perfecHonis, 
Actus (Fior^i), Legenda antiqua, and the other collections from 
the fourteenth century down to the Speculum vitae of about 

One of these numerous compilations, perhaps based upon Angelo 
Clareno's work referred to above, is also the Italian Leggenda 
antica given by Salvatore Minocchi under the impressive title 
Nuova fottte biograpkica (Florence, 1905, xxxii + 184 pp.). 
As Golubvich remarks (Luce e amorCy 11, Florence, 1905, pp. 255- 
264), the term ^* Legenda anUqua^* in the older Frandscan speech 
was often the designation of one or another legend that was older 
than Bonaventure's biography and was of "Leonine" origin. 
Thomas of Celano's Vita secunda is often designated by this name, 
which, all things considered, can only be a wrong designation. 

The order of the Chapter-meeting pf 1263 (see p. 380), in 
compliance with which all the legends which were older than 
Bonaventure's were to be destroyed, was only known through a 
quotation of Rinaldi's from a lost manuscript from Gubbio. The 
ominous decree has now been again foimd by A. G. Little in an 


Oxford MS. {English Historical Review, XLH, pp. 704-708), and by 
V. Ortroy {Anal. Boll., XVin, p. 174) in a Vatican MS. of the 
thirteenth century which had belonged to Queen Christina. 

Salimbene's chronicle was published by Holder-Egger in Mon, 
Germ.; the first part appeared in Vol. XXXU. Felice Tocoo is 
preparing in Sabatier's Collection d'itudes an edition of Angelo 
Claxeno's Chronica seplem tribukUionum, and in Sabatier's Opus-^ 
cules there is to appear a new and complete edition of Jordanus of 
Giano by H. Boehmer. In Suttini's BoUeUno critico (Florence, 
1905, pp. 45-47) Little has published a hitherto unknown source 
for the Chronica XXIV generalium, namely, Brother Pilgrim of 
Bologna's Chronicle (see p. 397). 

One could be tempted to regard Nino Tamassia's work, 5. 
Prafncisco d* Assist e la sua leggenda (Padua and Verona, 1906, XI 
+ 216 pp.), as a contribution characterized by great learning. 
The author is professor of the History of Law and of Church Law 
in the University of Padua, and his work testifies to a wide-spread 
knowledge of works on the andent Church and Middle Ages. 
He here works on the principle that every part of the legend of 
St. Francis, to which parallels can be found in earlier hagiography, 
necessarily are plagiarisms therefrom. For Tamassia the whole 
Frandscus legend resolves itself into a mosaic of reminiscences 
and quotations. When Thomas of Celano begins his relation 
with the simple words Vir erat in civikUe Assisii, the learned pro- 
fessor sees at once a quotation from Gregory the Great's biog- 
raphy by Benedict of Nurda, which very naturally begins with 
the words Fuit vir! "It is a pure illusion," Tamassia therefore 
declares, ^ Vhen modem Franciscan researchers try to find any 
remains of historical truth in Celano's writings." Both this 
author's Vita prima and Vita secunda are works with a purpose, 
arranged by Brother Thomas by Gregory's orders to change the 
heretic and Valdensian Francis to a saint after the best orthodox 
patterns. Add to this that Tamassia as well as v. Ortroy regard the 
Legenda trium sociorum as an unreliable and late work of compila- 
tion, and there is certainly nothing more for them to say. Not un- 
justly has a critic of Tamassia's book (in Etudes franc., XV, pp. 481 
et seq.) put the ironic question: 5. Franqois a-t^l jamais existif 

It is pleasant to turn from this flight into the extremes of hyper- 
critidsm to the observations on the questions of the authorities 
for the life of St. Frauds which Henry Thode has brought together 
in the new edition of "Franz von Assisi und die AnfUnge der 
ftunst der Renaissance in Italien*^ (Berlin, 1904, pp. 586--6o9). 


Not without justifiable pride does Thode remark that it was 
precisely his book, published originally in 1885, which established 
a basis for all modem Franciscan literature; a work in whose 
tracks C. Mandachs follows closely in writing on St. Anthony of 
Padua. He adheres strongly to the thesis, that in the question 
of the sources of the biogn^hy of St. Francis after twenty years' 
indefatigable research all the essentiak are in the older works 
(p. 609). Now as alwa3rs the principal sources are Celano's Vila 
prima and VUa secunda, in which last Thode sees the undoubt- 
edly real Legenda trium sociorum^ that of Leo, Angelo, Rufino and 
the others, including Thomas, a composite biography of Francis. 
**AUes wissensweihe bezuglich des Heiligen und der Auffassungy die 
seine Junge van ikm hatten, ist in den einzigen wakren Quellen^ den 
beiden Viien des Thomas zu finden" (p. 599). 

I concede that Thode here goes farther in opposition to Sabatier 
than I can follow him. For (example, it is not dear to me that 
the natural and naive style of the relations in the Speculum is to 
be taken as a proof of their late origin (pp. 6oo>-6oi). Even 
Sabatier does not claim that the Speculum was written in 1237. 
But I do not see that Thode has proved it impossible that Leo's 
roMi in their original simple style even in 1318 lay before this 
man or those men who collected and published the Speculum 
perfeciianiSf and were piously preserved in their original form. 
Neither has Thode proved that the Legenda vetus, which was 
read at the table in Avignon imder Michael of Cesena (p. 391) is 
identical with the Speculum perfectionism although on his page 
604 et seq. he upholds this view. The untenability of his 
hypothesis becomes at once clear when we examine it in the light 
of the explicit utterance in the prologue to the Legenda antiqua on 
the subject of the ''old legend'' — that it, namely, (i) was used 
by Bonaventure and (2) is inserted in Leg. antiqua. None of this 
applies to the Speculum perfectionis. Bonaventure has not inserted 
it, for the simple reason that it was not in existence in his time. 
And the Legenda antiqua certainly quotes the Speculum, but from a 
source widely different from the Legenda vetus. The two cannot 
be identified, and it seems for the present most reasonable — as 
on my page 392 — that the "old legend" read in Avignon is to be 
understood as having been the original Legenda trium sociorum. 

In his conunendable zeal to establish Thomas of Celano's throne 
in safety against the attacks of Sabatier, Thode goes too far to the 
other side. The Speculum will always hold its place in the first 
rank among the biographies of St. Francis. It is therefore a pity 


that Thode — like Lemmens — in the traditional (incomplete) 
Three Brothers' L^end can only see a pure compilation — arranged 
to form an introduction to the Speculum perfectioms. So far 
no one — not even v. Ortroy — has shown the sources of charac- 
teristic minor traits from the childhood of Francis given in this 
work and nowhere else. And until this proof is produced all 
credit remains here, as Thode says, ''with the old" sources. 

Finally, a few words must be said of Karl Hampe's article in 
"Hist. Zeitschr.," 1906, ^^Die wundmale des hi. Franz von Assist.** 
I cannot go into all this writer's subtilties — such as, that the 
seraph who appeared to Francis at La Vema cannot have fbated 
in the air, because one authority states that the angel showed him- 
self standing on a stone (p. 399). When an angel does reveal 
himself, he may well overcome first one and then another thing; 
but to Hampe it appears that his view is finely adapted to show 
the contradictions existing in the sources of information. 

There are not many such solid arguments in Hampers article, 
but it is written in the suspicious style affected in certain modem 
drdes. Nothing is insisted on and nothing is denied, but by a 
series of indirect suggestions, general suspicions and indefinite 
circumlocutions, the reader is brought into the narcosis of doubt 
and imcertainty aimed at by the author. When two testimonies 
of the stigmatization, for example, two mutually independent 
documents say exactly the same, then he assumes that one of 
them has been adapted to fit the other's appearance (p. 398). 
This is an easy way to get rid of an inconvenient witness. 

It is significant that Hampe — in spite of all this — does not 
at all deny Francis' stigmatization. The stigmata existed in 
Francis' last year, that is certain (p. 390). Hampe only denies 
(i) that they had the appearance given in this book; for example, 
according to him they can only have been ''vemarbte Locher, 
in deren Risse sich der Schmutz gesetzt hat, i.e., inflamed openings, 
in whose cracks dirt had accimiulated (p. 391); (2) that Francis 
received the stigmata on La Vema in September, 1224. 

As principal proof for these denials Hampe cites the letter of 
Elias of Cortona to Gregory and the French Brothers written 
immediately after Francis' death. (Appendix to this book, p. 
351, note 4.) It reads thus (see Boehmer, p. 91): 

"Non diu ante mortem f rater et pater noster apparuit crudfixus, 
quinque plagas, quae vera sunt stigmata Christi, portans in cor- 
pore suo: nam manus ejus et pedes quasi puncturas davorum 
habuerant ex utraque parte confixas, reservantes dcatrices et 


davorum nigredinem ostendentes. Latus vero ejus lanceatum 
appaniit et saq)e sanguinem evaporavit.'^ Hence Hampe believes 
that (i) Frauds received the stigmata shortly before his death 
(rum diu)y not two years before; (2) the stigmata did not project 
like nails, but were only black {daoarum nigredinem ostendentes). 
The answer to this is: 

(i) Hampe places too much stress on the ezpressbn non diu 
vrritten by Elias without regard to later critical historians. Elias 
had been in the Order sixteen years when he wrote this, and 
had a certain right to use the expression '^not long" for a lapse 
of two years. But what would Hampe say to it, when Thomas 
of Celano describes a lapse of seventeen years by the words paulo 
post? This is the case in the Vita secunda I, VI, 11, where it is 
said of Francis' prayer in San Damiano: '' Ab ea igitur hora lique- 
facta est anima ejus, ut dilectus ei locutus est. Patuit patdo post 
amor cordis per vulnera corporis." ^ And in her Rule St. Clara 
writes: "paulo post conversionem ipsius'* (i.e. Frandsd) "una 
cum sororibus meis obedientiam voluntarie sibi promisi" (Textus 
originates J p. 62). When the expression panto post in Clara's 
diction can indicate five years, in that of Thomas of Celano 
seventeen years, then Elias can also by nan diu have indicated 
two years. As far as the reckoning of time went, none of these old 
writers apparently weighed their expressions on a bullidn-balance. 

Finally, with r^ard to (2) the following is to be said. EUunpe 
lays much stress on the fact that Elias speaks of the stigmata 
only as "davonun nigredinem ostendentes," whereas Cdano says 
in Vita prima (H, c. 3; Boehmer, p. 93), "manus et pedes ejus in 
ipso medio davis confixi videbantur. " This seems to him a devdop- 
ing of the legend. 

My view is that the expression "clavorum nigredinem" is only 
to be taken as a flower of rhetoric. In those da3rs, if a fine expres- 
sion was sought for, one would not say, for example, "per densas 
silvas," but "per densitatem silvarum," analogous to the ways of 
certain French symbolists in our own times. In like mannei 
one would not say "davos nigros," but more degantly "clavonmi 
nigredinem. " Hinc ilia dissertation 

^ 1 am indebted to Rev. Michael Bihl for this valuable indication. 

*I must state here, that Monsignor Dr. N. Paulus, who fonnerly ("Det 
Katholiky" 1899, 1, pp. 97 et seq.) has defended the theory of the origin of the 
Portiuncula Indulgence trom St Francis himself, in an artide in the "K5l* 
nische Zeitung" for July 26, 1906, essentially places himself upon the same 
standpoint as P. A. Kirsch. ('^ That Honoriua III did not grant the Portiuncula 
Indulgence, Kirsch has convincingly shown".) 



The Wolf op Gubbio 

The legend o( the Wolf of Gubbio in the PiareUi is as follows: 
A savage wolf terrorized the inhabitants of Gubbio. It kept 
itself in the environs, and no one dared to go out there alone, no 
matter if he was armed. St. Francis went out to see the wolf 
and to tame it by his influence. He found it in its haunts, 
addressed it as Brother Wolf, told it how bad had been its life, 
told it that if it would cease its attacks it wotdd be supported, 
and thus subdued it. For two years thereafter, we are told, the 
wolf went through the town of Gubbio from house to house and 
was fed by the inhabitants, and then died. — Translator's 



Abruzzi, the, 265. 

Abstainers, the Third Order, 341. 

Abu Jacob, the Miiamolin, 199. 

Accxmsius, celebrated Lawyer of Bo- 
logna, bequeaths his villa La Rich" 
ardina to the Order, 228; sent to 
Morocco, 1 2 19, 197. 

Adam ofMabsh, B., opposed to Euas 

of CORTONA, 239. 

Adjuto, B., sent to Morocco, 12x9, 

Admonitions, summary of, 214-2x7. 

iScmrus, B. See Giles, B. 

Agnello of Pisa, B., Cusios in Paris, 
239; leader of English mission of 
X224, 239. 

Agnolo, B., 158. 

Albemio, hermitage of, near Siena, 319. 

Albert, the beggar, 52; meets St. 
FnANas in Pisa, 146. 

Albigenses, 87. 

Alviano, the swallows of, 151. 

Alexander III and the care of lepers, 
33; gives Valdes permission to 
preach, 88. 

Angel plays for St. Franqs, 295, 3x7. 

"Angel's Bread," 274. 

^^gela of Foligno, 73. 

Angelo, brother of St. Francis per- 
secutes him, 52. 

Angelo Clareno, B., his strict obser- 
vance, n., 272. 

Angelo Tancredi, B., characterized 
by St. Francis, 282; humiliated, 
X58; living with Cardinal Branca- 
leone, 259; and Leo with the dying 
sfti&t, 324; St. Francis' calls to 
him, 76; test of his humility and 
obedience, 158. 

Angelus meets St. Franos in Pisa, 

Antonin of Florence, St., 27. 

Apulia, St. FRANas' futile trip to, 

Ascoli, St. Franqs preaches in, 153. 

Assisi, its history, ^-9, 10, 18, 19, 22, 
^^879 99i 129; peace with Perugia, 
November, 1203, 20; blessed by St. 
Francis when dying, 329; doors 

in, closed to Brothers, 8x; Ptolemy's 
Auision, 8; stable in, birthplace of 
St. FRANas, xo. 
Aymon of Faversham, B., 228; at Bo- 
logna, 228; favors the book-learned 
as officers of the Order, 239. 

Barbarossa, x8. 

Barbarus, B., 76. 

Barbarus, in Cyprus, 202. 

Barnabas, on German missions of x 220 
or X22X, 210. 

Bartholi, Francesco, and the Porti- 
uncula indulgence, 170. 

Bartholomew of Pisa, analogies be- 
tween Our Lord and St. Francis, 9. 

Benedict of Arezzo, B., goes as a 
missionary to Greece, 1219, 196; the 
Portiuncida indulgence, 169. 

Benedict of Prato, B., says mass for 
St. FRANas, 288; writes St. 
Francis' blessing on the Order, 321. 

Benedictines on Monte Subasio, own- 
ers of Portiuncula, 105. 

Benedictine Sisters of St. Pauls and 
St. Clara, 127. 

Berardo, B., leader of the mission- 
aries in SevUle, X99; sent to Morocco, 

X2X9, 197. 

Bernard of Bessa, B., n., 62; testifies 
to Hugoun's friendship for St. 
FRANas in difficulties of X22x, 207; 
uses title of Third Order, and de- 
scribes it, 244. 

Bernard of Quintavalle, B., his 
abstraction in God, 106-107; char- 
acterized by St. FRANas, 282; in 
Florence, 70; gives all to the poor 
and is converted, April 16, 1209, 
62, 65; prays for divine guidance in 
the church of St. Nicolo, Assisi, 64; 
sometimes acts as leader on trip to 
Rome, 1 2 10, 84; preaches in 
Bologna, 12 12, 227; settled at 
Bologna, 1213, 227; tests St. 
Francis' sincerity, 63; St. Franos' 
special commendation of, 330; his 
last days, 280. 

Bernard of Vigilanzio, 76. 





Bernhasd PsncDS, 91. 

Birds, sennon to the, 149-150; wel- 
come the Friars to Mount Alvema, 

BoEHiCER describes his letters, 267. 

BoEHif£R and MtJiXER and the Rule 
of 1221, 221-222. 

Bologna and Bernard of Quinta- 
VALLE, 227; centre of opposition 
toST. Francis, 227; and the learned 
Franciscans, 227-228; St. Francis 
preaches in, 234-235. 

Bona Donna, wife of Luchesio, 241. 

BoNino, B., at Fonte Colombo with 
St. Franos and Brother Leo to 
finish the Rule, 252. 

Brienne, John of, 151; Walter of, 


Brother Ass," 148. 
Brother Frauds' Plant," 122. 
"Brother Giles' Wisdom," Z09. 
<< Brother Jacoba," 153. 
Brothers not to take more than three 
mouthfub when at strange tables, 

Cjesarius of Speier, B., a collaborator 
in the writing of St. Francis' cir- 
cular letters, 271; first German in 
the Order, 201; leader of German 
mission of 1220 or 1221, 210; helps 
St. Francis in writing the Rule of 
I22X, 213, 221; returns from Ger- 
many, June II, 1223, 271; and St. 
Franos' Work, 223-225. 

Camaldolites of Monte Subasio, give 
San Domiano to the Clares, 129. 

Cunaldolites and Portiuncula, 105. 

Canterbury, the Friars in, 239. 

Carceri, the original convent at, 218. 

Cathari, 87-88, 153-154. 

Cattani, Orlando dei, 161-162. 

Cattani, Pietro dei, B., prays for 
divine guidance in the Church of St. 
Niccolo, Assisi, 63, 64. 

Chapter of Mats (1220 or 1221), 209, 
3 10; of Michaelmas, 12 19, 205; 
Pentecost, of May 14, 1217, 182; 
Pentecost, of 12 18, 194-196; Pen- 
tecost, of May 26, 1 219, 196, 236; 
Pentecost, of 1220 or 1 221 (of Mats), 
209-210; Pentecost, of 1221, 200, 
201, 239; Pentecost, of 1221 at 
Portiimcula, 206; Pentecost, of 1224, 
267, 269, 270. 

Chapters or Chapter Meetings, 176, 

Cheeriulness, 54, 320, 389. 

Chiaramomtx, Cardinal Nicholas, 


Christian, Archbishop of Matencs, 

Clares follow Rule of St. Benedict 
after 12 19, 189; Gregory IX tries 
to modify the Rule of Poverty, 190; 
Poverty, the core of Obsoi^ances 
of St. Damien, 189; privilege of 
poverty ratified by hftfOcesT m, 
X215, 185; rigidity of rule makes 
Cardinal Hugolin weep, 189; 
Severe Cloister of, 189. 

Constance of Sicily, 21. 

Convents, the first Franciscan, 318. 

Coppou, Jacofo and the Portiuncula 
indulgence, 170. 

Crecentius of Jesi, B., at Bdogna, 

Cross in San Damiano, voice of, 1207^ 

Crucigers, 77. 

Damietta, siege of, beginning Mav, 

1 2 18, 203-304; fight before, on July 
39, 1 219, 303; attack on by crusaders 
repulsed, July 31, 1219, 203; g«at 
deifeat of crusulers, August 29, 1219, 
203; falls, November 5, 1220, 304. 

Dante at the Franciscan convent, 155. 

David of Dinant, 87. 

Despair, temptation of, 366. 

Disciple, the first, 62. 

Disciples, first four, 67; first seven, 67; 
persecution of early, 69-70; taken 
for thieves, 70. 

Dominicans and learning, 330; Domin- 
icans' Rule for the Franciscans, 231. 

Dou Pedro, Infanta of Portugal, 199; 
Infanta of Portugal at head of the 
Mirauoltn's army, 199; mission- 
aries put in his care by the Miramo- 
LiN, 199. 

Donato, story of, n., 134. 

DuRAND OF HuESCA, 84; adheies to 
church, 88; authorized to preach, 


Egidio, B. See Giles, B. 
Electus, B., goes as a missionary to 
Tunis, 1 2 19, 196; a martyr in Tunis, 

1219, 197. 

Elias Boubarone, B. See Elias of 

EUAS OF CORTONA, B., U., 27, 327| 

opposed to the "Portiimcula men,' 
169; placed over Province of Hol^ 
Land, 183; St. Francis in oppose 



tion, 226-337; And lus party said 
to have attempted to invalidate the 
Rule and substitute the Dominicans' 
Rule, 331; and the Final Rule, 248; 
visits St. FRAjNas at Fonte Colombo 
to plead for a gentler Rule, 252-253; 
loses the Rule, 253; bc^s St. 
Francis to have his eyes treated, 
316; St. Francis transported to 
Assisi by him, 321. 

England, Franciscans go there, Sep- 
tember 10, 1224, 239. 

Eremi and rUirif 72. 

Erimitarium of the Franciscans, 2x8. 

Favorino DEI Scm, 122, 124. 

Fiuici family of Sterpeto, 122. 

Florence, St. Antonin or, 27. 

Fonte Colombo, the interview at, 252- 
253; the original convent at, 218; 
St. Francis with Brothers Leo and 
BoNizio at, 252-253. 

Francis of Fabriano, b. 1251, d. 
1322, 171; obtains the Portiuncula 
indulgence, 171; his reminiscences, 
171; visits Assisi in 1268, 172. 

Frangipani family, 152. 

Frederick Barbarossa, x8. 

Frederick II, 21; and San Damiano, 

Friars Minor, origin of title, loo-ioz. 
Fru Pica, 41, 44-45- 

Gboroe, Houses of St., 32. 

Gennany, mission of 1220 or of 1221 
to, 210-2x2. 

GiACOiiA. See Jacopa. 

Giorgio, church of S., 64. 

Giles, B., n., 67, after the death of St. 
Franos, 238; and the beggar 
woman, 66-67; his biography writ- 
ten by Brother Leo, 107; and 
book learning, 236-237; "Brother 
Giles' Wisdom," 109; is called a 
hypocrite, 107-108; carries water 
and helps the cook in Santi Quattro 
Coronati, 108; characterized by St. 
Francis, 282; choice of life, 145; 
comments on St. Francis' preach- 
ing, 67; his conversion, April 23, 
1209, 65-66; his devotion to Pov- 
erty and Chastity, 237-238; and 
the Doctor of Theology, 138; earns 
his food while a guest with Cardinal 
Nicholas, 109; his employment in 
Ancona, 107; episodes in life of, 107- 
Z09; an eitensive traveller, 107; 
faithful to his first love, 239; in 

Florence, 70; gives his rich doak to 
a beggar woman, 66-67; fSQ^ ^ a 
missionary to Tunis, 1219, X96; 
imitates playing the violin, 109, 238; 
instances of his Franciscan good- 
ness, 108-109; interrogates St. 
Bonaventure, 238; "Km^ht of the 
Round Table," 67, 107; life in the 
convent at Perugia, 109; living 
with Cardinal Chiaraiconti, 259; 
his occupations, 108; opposes new 
tendency to learning and study, 
236-237; "Paris, thou ruinest St. 
Francis' Order," 238; prays to find 
St. Francis, 66; rejects too large a 
payment for wood, xo8; his remarks 
to the two Cardinals, 109; says that 
a priest cannot lie, 108; sells water 
in Brindisi, X07; sent out of Timis 
bv force, 1219, 197; stops a doctor 
of theology preaching in San Da- 
miano, X38; his sonnet to chastity, 
n., no; traits illustrating his views 
of doing and study, 237-238; his 
death, April 22, 1262, 239, 

GozzoLi, Benezzo, 9-10. 

Gratian, B., and St. Anthony of 
Padua, 2x2. 

Greccio, the Christmas at, X223, 360- 

Gregory of Naples, B., vicar of the 
Order, 205. 

Gregory IX, x8x (see also Hugolin); 
grants indulgence to church of St. 
Francis in Assi^ x66, 167, x68; 
protector of the Third Order, 243: 
and Rule of the Clares, 190; and 
St. Clara, 133; and St. Clara's 
poverty, X36-137; tries to modify 
the Rule of Poverty of the Poor 
Clares, xpo; withdraws his pro- 
hibition of preaching by Franciscans 
in San Damiano, 133. 

Gubbio, the hospital in, 50; John of, 
9; St. FRANas' friend in, 49; wolf 
of, 100, 2^5, 410. 

GxTELFUca, Bona, 125. 

GuiDO, Bishop of Assisi, 1204, n., 
31,45, 76; probably confessor of St. 
FRANas, 31; his law suits, 78; ob- 
jects to the begging, 77; poverty of 
St. Francis, 76-78; receives the 
Brothers in Rome, x2xo, 84; and 
St. Franos' early preaching, 98. 

GuiDO OF Florence, bis alms refused, 

GuiDO Vagnotelu, B., enters the 

Order, X45. 



Henry VI, i8, ax. 

HoNOKius n and the Porduncula 
Indulgence, 167. 

HoMORius in, authorizes mass for 
the Friars Minor, December, 1334, 
288; Bull of X220, 207; defines the 
Dominicans, 187; goes to Rieti, 
1225, 316; leaves Rome, April, 1225, 
3x6; letter of commendation for the 
missionaries (June ix, X219), X96; 
his letter about Poor Clares to Car- 
dinal HuooUn, August 27, X2x8, 
X85-X86; on December 16, X22x, 
orders the Bishop of Rimini to pro- 
tect the Third Order in Faenza, 243; 
protector of the Third Order, 343; 
ratifies Rule, November 29, X223, 

Hubert of Casalb and Angela of 


HuGOLiN, Cardinal, 165, x8o, x8x- 
182; assists St. Francis in drawing 
up Rule of Third Order, 244; in 
Bologna, 1221, 243; became Pope 
Gregory IX in 1227, 136, 181; 
Bishop of Ostia and Vdletri, May, 
1206, 181; chooses Rule of the 
Benedictines for the Poor Gares, 
X87-, defends the cause of the 
church a^unst Markwald, 11 88, 181; 
co-operation with St. Francis on the 
final Rule, 247; establishes Order 
of Poor Clares, 1217^1210, i8s-x86; 
first visit of, to Friars Minor and 
how they impressed him, 164-165; 
forbids St. Franos going to France, 
1 21 7, 184; founds a convent for the 
Franciscans in Viterbo, x8i; founds 
a convent, San Cosmiato, for thQ 
Poor Clares in Rome, i8x; founds 
convents in Lombardy and Tuscany, 
181-182; founds a poor-house with 
church in Anagni and gives it over 
to Hospital Brothers, 181; says 
that he help^l to write the Rule 
and to obtain its ratification, 257; 
instances of his influence and cor- 
recting the final Rule, 247; inter- 
mediator between Elias of Cortona 
and St. Franos, 226; Papal Chap- 
lain of St. Eustachio, 1198, 181; 
Papal Legate in Tuscany to preach 
a crusade and allay disputes be- 
tween the republics, 183; at Pen- 
tecost Chapter of 12 18 as protector 
of Order, 194; and the Rme of the 
Order of Clares, 186-187; and St. 
Francis and the final Rule, 347-348; 

St. Francis' Sptritual Father, x84; 
secured for side of St. Francis' 
adversaries (about 1323), 231; his 
view as to Rule differed from St. 
Francis', 348; washes b^^r's feet, 
who complains, 195; weakens the 
RulCj 347-248, 3sx; weeps at 
rigidity of Rule of Poor Clares, X89; 
and Humiliations of the Friars, X58. 

IduOOj 338. 

Illuminato in the Holy Land with 
St. Francis, 13x9, 204. 

Indulgence gnmted Church of St. 
Francis in Assisi, x66, 167, x68: 
example of eariy ones, X66-167; ukI 
the Lateran Coundl of 13x5, x66; 
old methods, of granting, x66; the 
Portiuncula, X66-X74. 

IndidgetUia de Terra Sancta^ x66. 

Innocent HI, xi, 31; afraid to enter 
Assisi, 86-87; blesses St. Francis' 
mission to the Saracens, 153; his 
dream, n., 85; driven from R(»ne, 86; 
and the Qares, X30-13X; insulted, 
85-86; journey of homage through 
Umbria, 87; rebellious era of, 87. 

Innocent IV in Assisi, 1253, 139; in 
Perugia, X252, 138; and Poor Clares, 
189; visits the dying St. Clara, 

Irslingen, Conrad of, x8, 86. 

Jacopa de Settesoxj, b. about 1x90, 
152. 257-258; in Assisi, 334; 
epitaph in the Franciscan church 
in Assisi, 334; her lamb given her 
by St. Franqs, 257; meets St. 
pRANas, X2I2, X52; prepares al- 
mond cream for him, 257; her first 
son Giovanni, bom X2xo, 152; her 
second son Gratiano, bom 13x7, 153; 
visit to the dying saint, 330; a 
widow in 12x7, 357. 

Jacqueline. See Jacopa. 

Jacques de Vitry, his description of 
the Friars Minor, 163-164; chapter 
meetings, 2x4; in St. Jean d'Acre, 
tells of Franciscans, 12x9, 303. 

John, Morico and Sabbatino, BB., 
early disciples, 67. 

John of Parma, 192; at B<dogna, 228. 

Johannes Parenti, B., 338; enters 
the Order, 145. 

John of Piano Carpino on German 
Mission of 1220 or X22x, 2x0. 

John of San Costanso, 76. 

John of St. Paul, Cardinal, be- 



friends the Brothers m Rome, xaio, 
84-85; interviews Pope about St. 
Francis, 90. 

John, The Simple, B., his conversion, 
115-117; copies St. Fxamos in all 
things, XI 7. 

John of Bsiemne, 151. 

John Capella, B. (of the hat), 67; 
tries to establish a new order of 
lepers, 1219, 205. 

John Colombini, his wife converted, 

John of Giano, B., and the German 
mission of 1220 or 1221, aio. 

John of Gubbio, 9. 

John de Laudibus, B., diaracterized 
by St. Franos, 282-283. 

John Veluta, Messer, helps St. 
Francis with the Christmas cele- 
bration at Grecdo, 1223, 261. 

JOROANXJS OF Giano, B., his account 
of the German mission of 1220 or 
1221, 211; describes his own charac- 
ter, 240; describes St. Francis' dis- 
like of compulsion, 226; does not 
know what a convent is, 211, 218. 

Julian, St., 32. 

Juniper, B., or Ginepro, 106, ixx-112; 
anecdotes of, xo6, 111-1x5; charac- 
terized by St. Francis, 282; cooks 
a huge meal that is uneatable, 1x3- 
XX4; his "flaming sparks of words," 
1x5; "news from God," xxs, 139; 
and the pig's foot, XX2-XX3; and St. 
Clara, 115; and the Se^w, xx4- 
XX5; gives his superior hot porridge 
at night, 1x4; his way of giving 
lessons, XX4. 

Ketteler, Bishop of Mayencb, and 

the poor family, 277. 
Knights of Lazarus, 32. 
"Knight of the Round Table," 67, 

X07. ' 

Larks, their last farewell to the Saint, 


Lateran Council of 12x5 and Indul- 
gences, 166; its Interdiction of New 
Orders, X87; and religious orders, 83; 
said to have accepted Dominicans 
and Friars Minor, 187. 

La Vema, gift of, 162, x68; at the 
present day, 293. 

Lauds, 69, 222-225. 

Laymen, as preachers, 83. 

Lazarus, Knights of, 32. 

Lent, X2II, 147. 


Leo, B., X06; and angels with the dying 
saint, 324; the Blessing of Brother, 
303-304; characterized by St. 
Francis, 282; describes St. Francis 
failing in health, 251-252; he 
intrudes on St. FRANas' solitude, 
295-296; opens the Book of Gospels 
for St. FRANas' guidance, 294; the 
Portiuncula indulgence, X70; the 
prayer with St. Francis, xx 7-1x9; 
St. Francis prays with him, 287; St. 
Francis attendant in his last weeks 
of life, 393, 295; with St. Francis 
and Brother BoNizio at Fonte 
Colombo to finish the Rule, 252; 
St. Francis describes the perfect 
happiness to him, xxa-x2x; with St. 
Francis on La Vema, 295-297; 
says part-prayers with St. Francis, 
XX7-XX9; says mass for St. Francis, 
288; and the Stigmata, 301-302; 
his story about the attempted in- 
validation of the Rule, 23 x; his 
vision of Francis defending his 
Order, 230; his eyes possibly dosed 
by Jacopa de Ssttesoli, 334; died 
about X274, 334. 

Leo IX, St., 32. 

Leonard, B., his thoughts read by St. 
Francis, 284. 

Leper and MARTyxius, 32. 

Lepers in Middle Ages, 32. 

Liberjus, Pope, X05. 


his new life, 241; his wife Bona 

Donna, 241; and wife died April 28, 

X260, 24X. 
LuciDUS, B., characterized by St. 

Francis, 283. 
Luaus III and Valdenses in 1x84, 88. 

Mariano of Florence, his character 
of PiETRO Di Bernardone, 4?; 
describes the preparing of the Rule 
of the Third Order, 247. 

Mark Ancona, Friars' early days in, 68. 


Martyrs of Morocco, 200; of Seville, 
their bodies enshrined in Coimbra 
by Queen Urbaca, 200; news of 
their deaths at the Pentecost chap- 
ter of X22X, 200-201. 

Martyrius and the leper, 32. 

Masseo, B., of Marignano, 74, 97, 
X06; anecdotes of, 106, ixo, xxx; 
and Brother Rufino, 281; charac- 
terized by St. Francis, 282; hi* 
cheerfulness, xxx; exercised in hu- 



mility by St. Fkancis, zii; goes 
to seek advice for St. Francis from 
Silvester and St. Clara, 149; his 
praying, ixi; St. Francis makes 
him find the road they are to take, 
zio; his success as a beggar, no; 
testimony as to Portiuncula indul- 
gence, 169-170. 

Mats, Chapter of the, 209. 

Matthew of Narni, B., 201, 205. 

Mayence, Archb. Christian of, 18. 

Middle Ages, Church of the, 85-86. 

Minerva, temple of, in Assisi, 129. 

Mission journey of 12x7, 236; to 
Tunis, 197-200; to Germany, 210. 

Missions, great Franciscan, hegBOi 1217, 
182-183, 192-193, 220. 

Missionaries, their experiences in Ger- 
many, 1 21 7, 192; the first, 68-70; 
ill-treated, 68-70; in Seville irre- 
pressible, 199; in Seville martyred, 
200; six go to Morocco, 1219, 196; 
start for their provinces, 1217, 192. 

Monaldo, uncle of St. Clara and St. 
Agnes attempts to recover St. 
Agnes by force, 128-129. 

Monism, the struggle for, 88-89. 

Montefaloo, 10. 

Montefeltro, Festival at castle of, 159- 

Monte Paolo, hermitage of, 212. 

Monte Subasio, 48, 77-105. 

Monticelli, St. Agnes and the Rule 
for, 190. 

MoRico, Sabatino and John, BB., 
early disciples, 67. 

Morocco, St. Francis' journey to, 163. 

Mount Alvema, the original convent 
at, 218; taking possession of, 291. 

Mutual love of the Brothers, 82. 

Nature, St. Francis' relations to, 309- 

Neo-Manichees, 87. 
Nicholas, Cardinal, and Giles, 109. 
Nicholas IV, Pope, a Franciscan, 

his letter of May 14, 1284, 171. 
Nicholas of Pepoli, professor in the 

University of Bologna, 228; takes up 

the Franciscan mission in Bologna, 

Niccolo, Church of S., 64. 
Ninety brothers volunteer for the 

German mission, 210. 
NoTTiANO, n., 117. 
Novitiate established 1220, 155; of 

one year reqiured by Bidl of 

H0NORIU8 III, 207. 

Obedience, perfect, defined by St. 
Francis, 285-286; to the Rule fii^ 

Observances of St. Damian, 189-190. 

Order to be reorganized, 1221, 207. 

Orlando dei Cattani, 161-164; glad 
as Friars take possession, 1224, of 
La Vema, 292; verbal gift of La 
Vema, 168. 

Ortis, life in, 96; the rest at, 96-97. 

Ortueb of Strassburgh, 87. 

Ortolana, 122, 124. 

Orvieto, faction in, 86. 

Ostia, Cardinal Hugoun of, 165; 
also see Hugolin. 

Otic of Aquasparta and the Porti- 
uncula indulgence, 170. 

Otto, Brother, sent to Morocco, 1219, 


Otto of Brunswick, Francis' mes- 
sage to, passing through valley of 
Spoleto, September, 1209, 82-^83. 

Over-sanctification, 62. 

Oxford, the Friars established there, 
November, 1224, 239. 

Pacificus, B., does not play for St. 
Francis for fear of making a dis- 
turbance, 317; returns to French 
inission, 1219, 236; goes as a mis- 
sionary to France, 1209, 196; and 
the Sun Song, 313-314; the vision 
of, 279. 

Padua, St. Anthony of, 212. 

Papal commendation of May 29, 1220, 

PaiMd sanction refused Dominicans 
and Friars Minor, 187. 

Parenti, Johannes, 145-146, 228. 

Paris, the Order in, 236. 

Paul of Pherhe, 124. 

Paulinus of Nola, 152. 

Pepoli, Nicolo oe, 146, 228. 

Penitential Brothers, the Third Order, 
their life, 242. 

"Penitents from Assbi," 81. 

Perugians, danger of their capturing 
St. Francis in his last illness, 321. 

Peter, B., sent to Morocco, 12x9, 197. 

Peter John Ouvi, b. 1248; d. 1298, 
upholds authenticity of the Porti' 
uncula indulgence, 172. 

Peterjof Stacia, opposes St. Francis 
and opens a House of Study in 
Bologna. 226, 228, 230-231. 

Peter Valdes, permission ^ to preach 
given him by Alexander III in 
II 79. 



Phiixpp Lungo, 76. 

Philip, Brother, superior of the 

Clares, seeks bull of ezoommunica- 

tion to protect them, 205. 

PlETRO DEI CaTTANI, 227, 228, 276; 

sails with Crusaders, 12 19, 202; 
d. March 10, 1221, 208. 


captures and imprisons his son, 44; 
tries the civil law against his son, 


Pekegrine of Fallerone, B., conver- 
sion of, n., 235. 

PoenUentium Collegia, 242. 

Poggio Bustone, cave near, 72. 

" Poor of Christ," 106. 

"Poor men from Lyons," 87. 

Portiimcula, 33; St. Fkancis weeps 
at, 42; St. Francis begins its 
restoration, 54; called Santa Maria 
degli AngeU, St. Mary of the Angels, 
54; St. Matthew's mass in, 56; 
the first four Friars in, 67; St. 
Francis' sermon to the first six 
disdples in the forest near, 68-^; 
its origin and name, 105; owned by. 
Benedictines, 105, 576; at the 
present time, 105; and the Camel- 
dolltes, 105; abandoned, 1075, ^0$; 
andent picture in, 105; visions at, 
x68; '* God's house and the gate of 
Heaven," 331; legend of Fru Pica 
in, X05; life of the Friars in, 105- 
Z06; a vision of, 121; new brothers 
received at, about 1214, 16^; 
Brothers invested with the habit 
there, 175; meetings at, on specified 
dates, 175-176; the original convent 
at, 218; its Rule, 219-220; St. 
FRANas at, 1224, 306. 

Portiuncula indulgence, authenticity 
uphdd by Peter John Olivi in a 
pamphlet, 172; first known late in 
the thirteenth century, 172; Heri- 
BERT HoLZAPFEL and the, 173-174; 
legends of, 167-168; not mentioned 
in the Speculum PerfectiomSf 174; 
the stricter party upholds it, 170- 
171; testimony of October 31, 1277, 
169, 170, 172; theory of, 172-175. 

Poverty, evangelical, 91-92; impaired 
by Peter Staoa, 231; of older 
Orders, 92; St. Clara's privilege 
of, 190-191; St. Francts' new con- 
ception of, 92. 

Preaching, early, 67-68; by laymen, 

Priest, first, in the Order, 65. 


Prisons" on Monte Subasio, 77. 
Provinces, division of, 1223, n., 227; 
or mission-districts, 176, x8a. 

Rainer, Prior of St. Michael, 203. 
Raynald, Cardinal, later Pope Alex- 
ander IV, visits San Damiano, 138. 
Rayner of Arezzo and the Porti« 

uncula indulgence, 169. 
Regula Prima, 214, 220-225. 
Renan, Ernest, and Franctscanism, 

Restoration of Roman Senate, 1x43, 

RiCERins, Brother, X02-X03. 
Ricetius from Mucda, B., convendon 

of, n., 2JS. 
Rieti, valley of, 7X-72, 265; St. 

Francis' journey to, 3x6-3x7. 
RUiri and eremi, 72, 218. 
Rivo Torto, life of early disdito 

there, 77-81, 82, 97, lox. 
Robbers on Monte Casale ccmvertedy 


Robert of Arbrissel, 8q. 

Roger of Todi, B., characterized by 
St. Francis, 283. 

RuFiNO, B., 106, 158; his abstraction 
in prayer, xii; characterized by St. 
Francis, 282; choice of life, 145; 
humiliation of, 158; his origin, xxi; 
and Massed, 281; and St. Clara, 
X25; and St. Francis, 28X-282; 
sanctified while living, 282; tempta- 
tions, 280-282; test of his humility 
and obedience, 158. 

RuFiNUS, Saint, 9. 

Rule, additions to the fundamental, 
222; the first, 77-80, 213-2x4; the 
final, fears ezdted about, 252; for 
Hermitages, 219; Hugoun's co- 
operation with St. Francis in final, 
247; of the Clares, 189; Clares', 
approved by Pope, 130-13 1; to be 
obeyed liUeraliter, 248; for Por- 
tiuncula, special, 219-220; ratifica- 
rion of early, 94; the, reduced in 
strictness, 251-252; of Rivo Torto, 
220, 222; of San Damiano, 185; of 
Third Order, First, lost, 244; of 
1210, 219; of 1221, material for, 221; 
final, accepted November 29, 1222, 
234; much abbreviated as accepted 
by the Pentecost chapter of 1223, 
125, 254-256; ratified by Honortos 
ni, November 29, 1223, 226; of 
1228, for Third Order, discovered 
by Sabatier, 244-246. 



Sabbatoto, 67 

St. Aombs, 133; bccome» a nim, 138; 
her unde Monaldo attempts to 
remove her from the convent by vio- 
loioe, i3d~i 39; her visit to the dying 
St. Clara, 139; and the Rule ot the 
Order of Clares, 190. 

St. Anthony of Padua in Forli, about 
1233, 312, 234; leaves Bologna, 
1224, to go to MontpeOier, 234; 
permission given him to teach the- 
ology, 233-234. ^ , 

St. Bsidgbt on forgiveness 01 St. 
Francis' sins, n., 75. 

St. Clara, her family and family 
tree, 122, 125; authorities for her 
biography, 122-133; Favorini 
Scm, Count of Sasso Rosso, her 
father, 133; Qrtolana Fluio of 
Sterpeto, her mother, 133; her four 
sbters and brother, 133-133; origin 
of name of Clara, 133; Ortolana's 
pilgrimages, 133; first suitor when 
fifteen years old, 124; hears St. 
Francis preach in San Rufino and 
in San Giorgio, Assisi, in Lent, 1212, 
X 24-1 25; St. Francis becomes her 
spiritual guide, 125; St. Francis' 
advice to her, 135; Rdtino and 
Silvester, BB.. assist her, 135; 
leaves the world, Palm Sunday, 
March 18, Z3i3, Z36; Bona Guel- 
ruca acocHupanies her when she 
visits St. Francis and when she 
leaves her home, 135, 137; the flight 
from home, 136; reception by the 
Franciscans in Santa Maria defi^ 
Angeli after her flight from home, 
136; Bishop Gumo carries an olive 
branch to her on Palm Sunday, X3i3, 
S36; puts on the habit, 137; taken 
to Benedictine Sisters of St. Pauls, 
Isola Romanesca, 137-138: trans- 
ferred to convent of Sant Angelo 
in Panso, 128; the Camaldolites of 
Monte Subasio give San Damiano 
for the Clares, 139; her sister 
Beatrice and mother Ortolana 
join St. Clara, 139; a forma vi- 
pendi written for the Clares by St. 
Francis, 130; Innocent UI ap- 
proves the Rule of the Clares, 130; 
Abbess of San Damiano, 1315, 130; 
the priviUgium patipertaiis, 1 30-13 1; 
life of the sisters in San Damiano, 
130; Gregory DC withdraws his 
prohibition of preaching by Fran- 
ciscans in San Damiano, 133; St. 

Clara and another sister get answet 
in prayer for guidance of St. 
F^tANCis, 149; Gregory IX's vain 
attempts to dissuadf her hom 
poverty, i3<^i37; Innocent IV, 
138-139; Innocent IV ratifies the 
privilege of poverty two days before 
her death, 190, 191; her &ial Rule 
and privilege of poverty, 140-141; 
Cardinal Raynald gives her the 
sacrament, 138; Innocent IV visits 
her when dying, 139; St. Agnes, 
her sbter, visits her when dying, 139; 
Brothers Leo, Angelo, and Juni- 
per visit her when dying, 139; 
Juniper's '' news from God," 1^9; 
her dying ejaculations, 139; washmg 
the Sisters' feet, 131; cares for akk 
in San Damiano, 131; her industry 
and humility, 131, 133; her re- 
ligious life and devotion to prayer 
and meditation, 131-132; the feast 
with the Franciscans in Santa 
Maria degli Angeli, 134-135; pro- 
vides a wattle hut for St. Francis, 
toB; St. Francis recites the 
Miserere in San Damiano, 133; St. 
Francis withdraws from visiting 
San Damiano, 133; St. Francis 
says farewell to her and her Sisters, 
summer, 1335, 316; death message 
of St. Francis to her and the Sisters, 
X37; her last sight of St. Francis, 
137; protects San Damiano from 
Frederic II's soldiers, 135-136; her 
garden, 140-141; her death in her 
sixtieth year, 137; the Blessed 
Virgin at her death-bed, 140; soul 
taken to heaven, 140. 

St. Cyril, 105. 

St. Denis, Friars in, 336. 

St. Douinic first meets St. Francis 
in Rome about 13x7, 194; and the 
Lateran CouncU of 13x7, 187; at 
the Pentecost Chapter of x 3x8, 187; 
proposes to St. Francis to join the 
two Orders, winter of I330>i33i, 
194; his second meeting with St. 
Francis, 195. 

St. Francis of Assisi. Biography: 
Origin and family, 8-9; Fru Pica 
and Portiunoila, xos; birth and 
baptism (September 36?) 1183, 8~ 
11; stable in Assisi his birthplace, 
10; baptized John, changed to 
Francis by his father, xx; busi- 
ness, skill in, X3; extravagance, X5; 
French and Latin, knowledge of» x^ 



30-31; imprisonment of laoa-iao^, 
19-^0; his illness, Z304> 3'7; f^ls 
that his youth is gone, 6; starts for 
the war, 23; returns, 24; the last 
festival, 1205, 25*26; vision at 
Spoleto, 24; again visited by the 
Lord, 1205, 25; a distinguished per- 
son his friend after his conversion, 
27; gives church goods to poor 
priests, 29; goes to Rome about 
1205, 30; throws a handful of coins 
into the Apostles tomb at Rome, 30; 
beiOging at St. Peter's Rome, 30-31; 
lepers, natural abhorrence of, 33-34; 
the voice from the Cross, 1207, 38; 
sells horse and doth from his father's 
store for the benefit of St. Damiano, 
39; starts to repair St. Damiano's 
chapel, 38-39; the cave near San 
Damiano, 40; he enters Assisi, 
April, 1207, followed by a mob, 43; 
Beinasdone's rage on his son's re- 
turn from the cave near San Da- 
miano, 44; confinement m career 
by father, 44; Bernardome at- 
tempts to use the law against his 
son, 45; refuses to appear in his 
father's lawsuit, 45; tnai before the 
Bishop of Assisi, 45-47; disowns 
his father, 46; forsakes the world, 
April, 1207, 47; the firjt cowl, 47; 
robbm on Monte Subasio, 48-49; 
Anoelo, his brother, persecutes him, 
52; Albekt, the beggar, as his 
father, 52: a public beggar, 51-52; 
begging oil for the sanctuary camp, 
53; St. Matthew's mas9, 1209, its 
message, 56-57: opens the mass- 
book in S. Nicolo, Assisi, as a guide 
to action, 64; Mark Ancona and 
Rieti, trip to, 1209, 67; the forgive- 
ness of his sins in the cave at Poggio 
Bustone, 74; probably pacified 
troubles in Assisi, 1210, 99; starts 
for Rome, summer, 12 10, 84; Rome 
decides as to whether his order is 
orthodox,, 12x0, 88; interviews 
with Pope Innocent III, 1210, 90- 
91; Innocent Ill's dream, 12 10, 
92-93; Innocent III accepts him, 
1 210, 94; return from Rome, 12x0, 
95-97; passes Lent of i2xx on an 
Island, 147; missionary journey 
of, I2XI-Z2X2, X45-146; padfi^ 
troubles in Perugia, 1211-Z212, X45; 
third journey to Rome, 12x2, 15 x; 
Innocent III blesses his mission 
to the Saracens, 152; unsuccessful 

start for the Orient, 12x2, 153; astow- 
away on a ship to Italy, X212, 153; 
stranded in a ship upon the coast of 
Slavonia, X2X2, 153; spends winter 
1212-12x3 in Sarteano near Chiusi, 
147; visit to Rome, 12x3, Z5x; 
founds a church, X2X3, 54; at Sasso 
Fdtrio, X213, X59; journey of 12x3 
to Romagna, X59; travels through 
Spain to go to Morocco but falls 
sick about X2X3-X214, 163; he hdps 
renovate Santa Maria dd Vescovado 
in Assisi, X2i6, 54; rdations with 
Cardinals, X2x6, 2x4; apprehen- 
sions as to his reception at the Pen- 
tecost Chapter of X2X7, X82: preaches 
extensive missions at the Pentecost 
Chapter of 12x7, X82; visits Rcmie 
probably in winter X2i7-X2x8, X93; 
mterview with the new Pope, 
HoNOsins in, probably 12x7-12x8, 
X95; preaches to the Brothers at the 
Pentecost Chapter of 13x8, 195; 
preaches to the Brothers and to the 
Morocco missionaries at the Pen- 
tecost meeting of 12x9, 197-108; 
appoints Matthew or Nasni his 
vicar in Portiuncula, 12x9, aox; 
starts for the Holy Land with Pisnto 
DEI Cattani, X2X9, 20X, 202; laods 
at St. Jean d'Arc, July, 1219, 202; 
meets Saracen Conead, 12x9, 203- 
204; bad news from Italy brought 
to him in the Holy Land, X2X9, 205; 
returns from Holy Land, 12x9, with 
several Brothers, 206; seeks Hugo- 
UN on return from Holy Land, 12x9, 
206; has Egyptian eve sickness, 208; 
resigns as Head 01 the Order, Sl 
Midiad's day, 1220, 208; asks fm 
missionaries for Germany at tiie 
Chapter of Mats (1220 or X22x), 210; 
German mission of X220 or I22x, 
twdve priests and thirteen lay- 
brothers go on, 2x0; sermon in 
Bologna, August X5, X222, 234-335; 
fails in health after the Pentecost 
Chapter of X223, 25X-252; his last 
visit to Rome, X223, 257; goes North 
from Rome, X223, 260; the crib and 
sermon at Grecdo, Christmas, 1223, 
26X-262; Poggio Bustone, advent 
near, 1223 or 1224, 273; letter to the 
Brethren at the Pentecost Chapter 
of X224, 269-270; meets Orlaiido 
DEI Cattani, 1224, 292-293; fast- 
ing in X224, 29X; hu httlth im- 
proves, X224, 291; the final retreat 



hdon death, 293; cures a wonuui 
of hysterics, 1224, 305; returns to 
Portiuncula htte in 1224, 306; the 
night on the Appennines, November, 
1224, 305; trip to La Vema, 1224, 
292; begs for the stigmata, 29S-299; 
stigmatization, Sq>tember 14, 1224, 
29S-300; leaves Mount Alvema, 
September 30, 1224, 304; his eye- 
siauiess worse, 1225, 30S; leaves 
San Damiano, summer, 1225, 3x6; 
journey to Rieti, 1225, J16-317; 
physician's efforts to cure his eyes, 
318; dropsy attacks him, 321; in 
Siena, 1225, 310; at Celle, 1225, 321; 
leaves Rieti for hennitage of St. 
Eleutherio, winter, 1225, 318; his 
last will, 316; crowds come to see 
him at San Fablano, 3x7; hot 
cauterizing irons cause no pain, 3x8; 
appeases dispute between the 
Podesta and Bishop of Assisi, 1226, 
^22-323; ' refuses to say tl^ last 
ureweU to the Poor Clares, ^24; 

SK>logizes for trouble he occasions 
e Brethren in his last hours, 328; 
his last view of Assisi before enter- 
ing the gate to die there, 329; he 
blesses Assisi when dying, 329; he 
is carried to Portiuncula, 329; his 
last blessing of the Order, 331; he 
wishes to die in utter poverty, 
33x; his death October 3, 1226, 333; 
the funeral procession, 334. 

The Friars: Beenakd op Quinta- 
VAUX tests his sincerity, 63 ; hides his 
holiness from Bsrnaxd of Qudita- 
VALLE, 63; Knights of the Round 
Table, 67, 233; calls on Ancklo 
Tancredi to join the Order, 76; 
"et sint minores," origin of Friars 
Minor, 100; the hungry Brother, 
he eats with him, X03; warns Broth- 
ers against excessive mortifications, 
Z03; his kindness to Brothers, X03- 
104; he gathers grapes for a sick 
Brother, 104; Brother Masseo beg- 
ging gets more than St. Francis, 
ixo; exercises Brother Masseo in 
humility, iii; he makes Brother 
Masseo find what dty they are to 
go to, X 10; the newer genmtion of 
Franciscans staid with him, xxo; 
"I wi!^ we had a whole |rove of 
such juniper trees," ixx; imitated 
by Brother John, the simple, xx7; 
saying part-prayers with Brother 
Lbo, 1x7-1x9; describes the per- 

fect happiness to Brother Leo, 1x9- 
X2i; meets Ancelus and Aimext 
in Pisa, 146; goes out to preach with 
Brothers Masseo and Angelo, X49; 
Brother Masseo sent to se^ a4viGe 
as to hermit life, X49; seeks advice 
as to hermit life from Brother 
Silvester and St. Clara, X49; 
Silvester gets answer in prayer 
for guidance of St. Francis, X49; 
Verse King, the, X54; he huimliates 
RunNO and Agnolo, 158; promises 
paradise to Agnolo, 158; forbids 
Brothers to seek written privileges 
from the Curia, x68; said to have 
applied for Portiuncula indulgence 
with Brother Masseo, 167; wishes 
to have Brothers with hun, X75; 
attachment to Elias op Cortona, 
X83; "My Brothers are minares, let 
them not become majoreSf*' X94; 
Elias of Cortona, vicar of the 
Order, 208; "The Brother" his title, 
2x0; wishes Brothers to carry copies 
of his admonitions with them, 221; 
his and Cjesarius of Speier's wc^, 
223-225; opponents led by Elias 
OF Cortona, 226-227; Peter 
Stacia and his house of study, 230- 
231; permission to teach theology 
given to St. Anthony of Padua, 
233-234; Elias and the Final Rule, 
248; sinning Brothers, 249-251; 
assisted by Oeesarius of Speier in 
writing Ids dicular letters, a7x- 
letter to Brother Leo, 271; 
Brother Bernard of Quintavalls 
280; sends Brother Masseo to 
help Brother Rufino, 281-282; 
he characterizes different Brothers, 
282-283; blesses the Spanish Friars, 
283; rnids the thoughts of Brother 
Leonard, 284; makes Brother 
Bernard stamp upon his mouth, 
285; Brother EuAS begs him to 
have his eyes treated, 316; has his 
blessing of the Order written down by 
Brother Benedict, 321; asks Broth- 
ers Angelo and Leo to be with him 
as he is dying, 324; "I bless them 
as much as I can, and more than I 
can," 331; adu the Brothers to 
strew a^es over him, 332; Brothers 
sing the Sun-Song, 332. 

Association Outside the Order: 
HuGOLiN, Cardinal, comes to his aid, 
x8o; sees the future Pope in Cardi- 
nal HuGOUN, 181; meets Car- 



DiNAL HuGOUN ia Florence, 121 7, 
183; Casdinal Hugoun his spirit- 
ual father, 183-184; casts himself 
at Hugolin's feet and begs him 
to be the protector of the Brother- 
hood, 184; asks Pope to appoint 
Cardinal Hugolin protector of the 
Order, 193-194; part he took with 
Hugolin in the Rule of the Third 
Older, 244-247; begs his bread when 
Casdinal Hugolin's guest, 259; 
John of Colonna, his advocate at 
Rome, 92; describes his plans to 
Casdinal John of St. Paul, 90; 
St. Dominic's admiration for hun, 
X94; St. Dominic, meetings of, 
X94-195; meets Jacopa de Sette- 
SOLI in Rome, 1213, 152; Almond 
cream prepared for him by Brother 
Jacoba, 257; visits Brother Jacoba, 
257 > gives a tame lamb to Brother 
Jacoba, 258; last visit of Jacopa de 
Settesoli, 330. 

SermonSj Prayers and Writings: an 
early laud, 69; hb prayer of the 
Cross, 69; his description of life in 
the early days of the Order, 78; he 
writes a fortna vivendi for the Clares, 
130; begins to prepare a New Rule 
about 1 221, with Casasius of 
Speies, 208; his way of writing his 
Rule, 217-218; on pious living in a 
hermitage, 218-219; defend his 
Rule, 231-232; at route Colombo 
to finish the Rule of the Order, 252; 
appeals to and is answered by Uie 
Lord at Fonte Colombo as to the 
Rule, 253; works on new writings to 
supplement the Rule as approved, 
265; his letters described by Boeh- 
MES, 267; last writings, 267, 269-^72; 
the dying sinner described, 268-269; 
letter of 1223 to Brother Leo, 276- 
272; ideal general of the Order, 274; 
composes the Sun Song, 309^313; 
describes the Franciscan convent, 
320; sends St. Clasa his last bless- 
mg in writing, 324; his Testament, 
325-328; his prayer before the cru- 
cifix in San Damiano, 38; his early 
sermons, 67-68; sermon to the first 
six disciples, 68-69; preaches in 
Cathedral of Assist, j)8; would not 
preach in San Damiano, 133-134; 
preaching to the birds, 149-150; 
preaching at Montefeltro, 159; 
preaches in Ascoli and wins thirty 
recruits for the Brotherhood, 153; 

his quality of preaching, 154-155; 
preaching and admonitions at Chap- 
ter meetings, 176, 177-178; preaches 
to crusaders, 203; before the Soldan. 
204; preaches at the Chapter of 
Mats, 209-210; his admonitions, 
214-217; effect of his sermons in 
Bologna, 234-235. 

Nature and Animals: the swallows 
m Alviano, 151, 240; his feeling for 
lambs, 257-258; his tame lamb at 
Portiuncula, 258; birds welcome him 
to Mount Alvema, 292; his love of 
nature, 309-313; love of animals 
and birds, 311; the sheep near Siena, 
312; thefi^of LakeRieti,3i2; fire, 
312; the sun, 312; the wild rabbit 
at Grecdo, 312; the pheasant, 312; 
the hare of Lake Thrasimene, 31a; 
the cicada, 312; larks, their last 
farewell, 33^. 

St. Germain des Pr^ and the Friars, 

St. Gseoosy, 152. 

St. Michael, St. Fsancis* devotion 
to, 291. 

St. Pauls, Benedictine sisters of, and 
St. Clasa, 127. 

St. Peter, St. Fsancis starts to repair 

tt, 53- 

Salvatos Vitalis' Paradisus Sera- 
pkicus, 105. 

Salzburg Brothers and Cjcsasius of 
Speies, 211-212. 

Sancia, sister of King Alfonso gives 
Friars Minor a chapel in Alenquer, 
Portugal, 198. 

San Damiano, its Byzantine crudfiz, 
37; care of sick in, 131; the cave 
near, 40; closure in, about 1219, 133; 
its present aspect, 140-141; a gift 
to the Clares from the Camaldolites. 
129; rebuilding of, 50-51; St. 
Fsancis' first days there, 40; St. 
Fsancis leaves it, sunmier, 1225, 
316; St. Fsancis sells horse and 
doth from his father's store for its 
benefit, 39; St. Fsancis supplies 
money for oil for its sanctuary lamp, 
39; special Rule for, 185; the voice 
from the crucifix, 38. 

San Fabiano, vintage of the priest of, 

San Rufino, church of, 62-63. 
San Salvatore degli Pareti, 77. 
San Severino cloister, 154. 
Sant' Angdo of Panso, St. Clasa and, 




Santa Maria degli Angeli, in Assisi, 
St. Clara received into religion 
there, 134-135; the name of Por- 
tiuncula, 54. 

Santa Maria della Rocca, 49, 156. 

Santa Maria del Vesoovado restored, 
1 2 16, 54. 

Seminary in Paris, a^6. 

Septizonium of SepUmus Severus, 152. 

Sermon to the birds, the, 149-150. 

Seville, preaching in, 199. 

Silvester, B., choice of life, 145; 
complains of price paid him for 
stone for S. Damiano, 65; conver- 
sion, 65; his dream, 97-98; dream 
of St. Francis, 298; longed to be 
alone, 106; "no one can serve two 
masters," 65; and St. Clara, 123. 

Sinner, the dying, described by St. 
Francis, 268-260. 

Sinning Brothers, how to treat, 349- 

Speculum perfecUoms written 13x8, 174. 

Stephen, the lay-brother, 105. 

Sun Sang, the, 313-315; additional 
veraes of the, 322, 323. 

Term, Bishop of, and St. Francis, 147. 

Testament of St. Francis, 325-328. 

Third Order described by Bernard a 
Bessa, 244; foundation of the, 240- 
246; need of, 179; origin, 240-242. 

Thomas of Celano, B., 70; the addi- 
tions to the Rule, 215; describes St. 
FiLANCis and his prayers, 286; enters 
the Order about 12 14, 163; goes 
on the German mission, 1220 or 
1 221, 210; his picture of the life at 
Rivo Torto, loi; and St. Francis' 
early preaching, 98; St. Franos' 

first biographer, 12; and the twenty- 
eight admonitions, 2x7; his view 
of acquaintance of St. Frances and 
Cardinal Hugolin, 183. 
Thomas of Spalato, his account of 
St. Francis' preaching in Bologna, 

Todi, Jacopone de, 238, 

Tunis, mission to, 197. 

TusciUum, Bishop of, and Gnjes, 109. 

Universities founded in the thirteenth 

century, 230. 
Urraca, Qt7een of Portugal, gives 

the Friars Minor a convent near 

Coimbra, 198-199; the Morocco 

Martyrs, 200. 
Ursungen, Werner of, 100. 

Vagnotelu, Guido, X45. 

Valdes, Peter, 87-88; his authoriza- 
tion to preach, 83; St. Francis, 89. 

Velletri, Cardinal Hugolin, bishop 
of, 180. 

ViCTORINUS, St., 9. 
Viri literaU, 155-156. 
ViTALE, B., falls sick in Arragon, X3X9» 

Washing of feet at Pentecost Chapter 

of 12x8, 194-195. 
Washing the impatient leper, 306-307. 
Wadding's story of the swineherd, 

Walter III of Brienne, 32. 
Werner of Ursungen, 100. 
WiLUAM, the first English friar, 152. 
Wolf of Gubbio, 235, 4x0. 

Zacharias joins the Order, xsx-i52. 


Actus beaii Prandsci (Fioretti), 356. 
AchiS beaii Prandsci et Sodorum ejus, 

383-384, 393-395.. . ,, „ « . 
Acius beaii Pranasct %n VaUe Reaitna, 

Affo, Pater Iaeneo, 343. 

Albert of Pisa^ B., 352. 

Albert of Stude, lus annals, 401. 

Alvisi, editor of Commerdum beoH 
Prandsci . . . , 394. 

''Ancient Brothers," the, aniiqui fro- 
ires, 388. 

Angelo Clareno, B., and Brother 
Leo's work, 356; his chronicle, 387; 
his letter of defence to Pope John 
XXII, 390, 399; names the four 
biographers of St. Francts, 387; 
and the Three Brothers' legend, 387- 
388; his writings, 398-400. 

Angelo Tancredi, B., 394. 

Annates Minorum, 401-402. 

Anonymus Perudnus (Anonymous Pe- 
nigian), 367-368. 

A ntiquitaies Jrandscanae, 394~395 • 

Arnold of Serrano, B., possibly 
author of the chronicles of the 
twenty-four generals . . . , 397; and 
Gregory XI, 397; and the Vita 
Secunda, 370. 

Arbor vita crudfixa of Hubert of 
Casale, 388. 

Author of the Legenda Antiqua anony- 
mous, 392. 

Baldwin of Brandenbxtrgh, 395. 

Bartholomew of Pisa, his Con- 
formitateSf 351, 395; text of the 
laud written for Leo, 349; and the 
Vita Secunda, 375. 

Bernard of Bessa, author of De 
laudibus S. Prandsci, 381; a com- 
piler, 381; St. Bonaventttre's sec- 
retary, 381. 

Biographers, 3SI-39S- 

Bollandists' ^'Second biography of 
St. Franos," 354. 

Bobhmer, AnaUkten zur Geschickte 
etc., 403-404. 

Book of Lessons from Toulouse, 355. 

CiESARins OF Speier, B., 352. 

Catalogue of the first twenty-four 
generals of the Order, 396-397. 

Catalogus sanctorum, 401. 

Cantius, John, 355. 

CivEzzA Marcellino da, B., 363. 

Chapter of Geneva, 1244, 357; of 
Narbonne, 1260, 378; of Padua, 
1277, invited new researches for the 
life of St. Franos, 381; of Pisa, 
1263, and the destruction of the 
early legends, 380-381. 

Chiusi's Letter of Donation, 401. 

Chronica XXIV generalium, 382, 397. 

Chronicles of the (first) twenty-four 
generals of the Order, 397. 

Ckronicon breve, 

Civezza's, da, reconstruction of the 
Three Brothers' L^end, 365. 

Collaborators in the Three Brothers' 
Legend, 357. 

Collections of "Words" of the early 
Friars, 368. 

Commerdum beaii Prandsd cum do- 
mina paupertaie, 394. 

Conformitatesy 395. 

Conrad of Offida, B., 393-394; friend 
and informant of Hubert of Cas- 
ale, 388; and John of Parma, 388. 

Crescentius of Jesi, 357; and the 
Vita Secunda, 368-369. 

D'ALENpoN, Edouard, and the Vita 
Metrica, 355; his editorial work, 
394, 404. 

Dante and the Commerdum beaH 
Prandsd . . . , ^94. 

De laudibus Sanctt Prandsd, 381. 

Destruction of the early legends, 380- 

Dicta fratris Leonis, 397. 
Die Wundmale des hi. Prann von Assist, 



reconstruction of the Three BroUiers' 
Legend, 365. 

Eocleston, Thomas, B., and hit 
chronicle, 343, 396. 




Ehkle, 344; Angelo or Cla&eno's 

Historia septem tribidaiionum, etc., 

399 1 400. 
EuAS OF CoKTONA, 345; liis letter to 

Gregory and the French Brothers, 

Episi§la excusaloria of Angelo Cia- 

RENO, 399. 
EUBEL and Glassberger's Chronide, 

398; and John of Komorowo's 

Works, 398. 

Fabian of Hungary, B., his Speculum 
9iUB beaii Prancisci et sociarum ejus, 

Faloo-Pulignani's text of the laud 
written for Leo, n., 349; the Three 
Brothers' Legend, 366. 

Fioretli, the translation or develop- 
ment of the ilc/fufteo/tFraiicfja . . ., 

Francesco Bartbou, B., on the 

Portiuncula Indulgence, 394. 
Francisco d* Assist e la sua legenda^ 

Prang von Assisi und die Anfdnge der 

Kunst der Renaissance in ItaUen, 


Gesia Dei per francos, 401. 

Giles, B., 394; at Monte Ripido, 367; 
his death, 368. 

Glassberger's Chxonide, 308; and 
Julian of Speier's Legend, 3C4. 

GoNZALVo OF Balboa, geoeral of the 
Order, 391. 

Gdiz accepts St. Franos' letter to 
St. Anthony of Padua, 349; and 
Anonymus Perusinus, 368; and 
Hubert of Casale, 390; and the 
Speculum beati Prancisci . . . , 387; 
and the Vita prima, 353; and the 
Vila secunda, 371. 

Gregory IX orders Thomas of 
Celano to write a life of St. Francis, 
352; the Testament, 350-351; and 
Brother Arnold of Serrano, 397. 

Gubbio, the wolf of, 410. 

Henry of Pisa, author of the Vita 
metrica, 355; Saumbene, 355. 

Historia occidentalism 401; septem 
tribulationum ordinis minorum, 400. 

Histories of the Order, 395-400. 

Hubert of Casale, Avignon, 388- 

Hugolin of Monte Giorgo, B., 394. 

Hugoun's Register, 400. 

Illuionato, B., and St. BcniAVEn* 
txtre's Legend, 379. 

JACOB OF Massa, B., 394. 
ACOB Oddi, B., n., 398. 

Jacob of Varaggio and his Golden 
Legend, 401. 

Jacopone da Todi, 343. 

John XXII and the "Zealous" divi- 
sion of the Order, 390. 

John of Ceperano, 354-355- 

John of Komorowo, his duonide, 
397-398; his Memoriale ordinis fra^ 
Hum minorum, 398. 

John of Parma, B., and Conrad of 
Offida, B., 388; possibly author 
of commercium beah Prancisci, . . , 
394; and the Vita secunda, 373- 

John Peckham, B., Archbishop of 

Canterbury, 381. 

{OHN OF La Verna, B., 394. 
ORDANUS OF GiANo's, B., Cluonide, 
^ 370, 395-396. 

Julian of Speier, B., biographical 
notes of, 354; his legend, 354; his 
rhymed Office, 354-355- 

Karl Hampe, his criticism and intcr- 

Eretation of Elias of Cortona's 
tter to Gregory and the French 
Brothers, 409; Die Wimdmale des 
hi. Prane won Assisi, 408. 
Karl Hase's biography of St. Fran- 
cis, 402. 

Le^nda Antiqua, 356, 391-393- 

Legenda trium sociarum, 356-366. 

Legend by the Anonymous Perugian, 

Lemmens' publication of S. Isidore 
M.S. of pieces by Brother Leo, 
389; and the Three Brothers' 
L^g^end, 366. 

Leo, B., his associations, 383-383; 
his Leaves of Memory, 383; his rela- 
tion to the Speculum perfedionis, 
Legenda antiqua and Actus, 383- 384; 
his schedules or rolls, 383, 387; his 
work, 356. 

Letter to Crescencius accompanying 
the Three Brothers' Legend, text 
and discussion, 357-358. 

Liber epistolarum beati Angdi de 

Clareno,s99' , , . 

Little, A. G., and the decree of 

destruction of legends, 405-406. 

Liturgical Legends, 355. 



Maian, Chaviho de, hia Vie de S. 

Francois d* Assise, 402. 
Mandachs, C, 407. 
Masiano, the Florentine Chronicler, 

340; and the Three Brothers' 

Legend, 361. 
Matthew or Pasis, his Hisioria 

major, 401. 
Memoriale ordinis frairum minomm, 

Micbaei. of Cessna, General of the 

Order, 391, 393; ordered the "Old 
Legend to be read aloud in con- 
vents, 391. 

Michael Em., on Salimbene's Chron- 
icle, 396. 

MiNOcm, Salvatose, his NwnaJonU 
hiographica, 405; his MS., of the 
Speculum beaU Francisci . . . , 386. 

MoNNisE, LE, and Leon, HisUrire de 
S. Francois, d^ Assise, 403. 

MttLLER, Gael, Die At^dnge des 
Minoritenordens . . . , 402; and 
JosDANUS OF GiANo's Chronicle, 

Muzio AcHiLLEi and the Three 

Brothers' Legend, 364. 

NicoLO Papini, 402. 
Noiitie sicure sopra s. Francesco, 
Papini's, 402. 

Oddi's, Jacob, Italian Chronicle, 398. 
Officium passianis Domini, x^g, 
OzANAM, his Les poiies frandscains 
d'ltalie, 402. 

Papal Bulls as sources for the Life of 

St. FRANas, 400. 
Papelbrock and the Anonymous 

Perugian, 367. 
Peter John Ouvi, B., and Brother 

Leo, 387. 
PiETRO Dzt^ADZUfhisCakdogusSanC' 

torum, 40 X. 
Pilgrim of Bologna, B., 397. 

QuARACcm edition of St. Francis' 
writings, 340-341- 

RosEDALE, FRANas OF Assisi, accord- 
ing to, 404-405. 

Sabatier, Paul, and the Adus beaii 
Francisci . . . , 394; and Angela 
Clareno, 399; and Bernard of 
Bessa, 381; his edition of the 
Speculum perfectionis, 364; and the 

Mazarin M.S., of the Speculum 
beaii Francisci . . . , 363, 384-387; 
his r61e in Franciscan research, ^39; 
and the Speculum ViUe S: Franctsd, 
362-363; his theories, 339; and the 
Three Brothers' Legend, 362, 384- 
387; Vie de 5. Francois d* Assise, 402; 
the Vita secunda, 371. 

St. Anthony of Florence, 40Z. 

St. Bonaventure's amplification of, 
early legends, 379; his book of 1263 
and the Three Brothers' Legend, 
360; date of birth, 378; history and 
origin of his Legend, 378-381. 

St. Francis of Assisi and Benedict 
OF Prato, 351; blessing of Brother 
Leo, described with the text, 344, 
345-349; Forma vivendi of the 
Clares, 350; G&rz, Walter, and 
the blessing of Brother Leo, 348; 
GdTZ and the Testament, 350; GdTZ 
and the Three Brothers' Legend, 
366; greeting to the Blessed Virgin, 
344; Hasse, Carl, and the Testa- 
ment, 350; Julian of Speier and 
the Testament, 350; Kraus, F. X., 
and the Blessing of Brother Leo, 
348; Laudes Domini, 343, 344; 
Laudes de Virtutibus, 344; Lempp 
accepts St. Francis' letter to St. 
Anthony of Padua, 349; Leo's, 
B., note, 347; Leo preserves St. 
Francis' writing, 345; Leo, his 
secretary, 340; minor Italian songs 
not auUientic, 343; Oddi, Jacob, 
his text of the laud written for Leo, 
349; praise songs or lauds, 342; both 
preadier and writer, 340; prose 
writings, 349-351; Rules of the 
Orders, 3^0; Sabatier, Paul, and 
the Blessmg of Brother Leo, 348; 
Sabatier and St. Franos' letters, 
349-350; Sabatier and the Testa- 
ment, 350, 351; Sabatier, his view 
of St. Francis' letter to St. Anthony 
OF Padua, 349; St. Clara and the 
Clares, testamentary notes for, 351; 
Salutatio virtutum, 344; song about 
creatures, 342-343; " Sun Song," the, 
342-343; the Testament, 350-351; 
" The three Words," n., 351 ; Thomas 
OF Celano and the Testament, 350; 
UUima Voluntas to the Clares, 350; 
Wadding, 16 19, sees the "Blessing 
of Brother Leo," 345; "Words of 
St. Francis," 340; his writings, 

Salimbene's, B., chronicle, 396; and